Southwestern Turkey Burger

I’m a burger ADDICT. Lately I have experimented with healthier burger options.  I have this belief that with meats like turkey or buffalo, you sacrifice a lot of flavor in a burger patty. Lordy, lordy, he hath proven me wrong!

I never thought I would see the day when I, Foodie McBooty, falls in love with a turkey burger!  I am happy to announce that HEALTHY and FLAVORFUL characteristics do exist in one entity.  (Who knew?)  This (incredibly) messy burger is packed full of southwestern flavor.   Granted, I have never been to the “Deep South”… but if Texas had a taste I’d imagine this is what it would taste like.

Because these are so messy, I recommend carving out the guts of the top part of the bun.  That should help control some of the damage and save the salsa and crema from falling onto my lap.

I dream that some day I will have a decent picture of this absolutely amazing turkey burger.  Until then, trust me here and let your photo imagination run wild!

Southwestern Turkey Burger

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 6 burgers

Ingredients

    For the salsa:
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons cactus, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • For the Burgers:
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 5 ounces finely ground Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • slices of aged monterey jack cheese
  • fresh bakery rolls
  • 1 cup crema Mexicana (sour cream works too)

Directions

  1. Spray and heat grill to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the salsa:
  3. Combine the onion, avocado, tomatoes, and cactus. Add the garlic, cilantro, cumin and chipotle pepper sauce. Mix well. Add lime juice and combine. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. For the burgers:
  5. In a large bowl, combine turkey, chorizo, tortilla chips, soy sauce, pepper, parsley and Worcestershire sauce. Form into large balls, flatten and shape into a size that is slightly larger than your buns (they will shrink a bit when they cook!)
  6. Place burger patties on the grill. 6-8 minutes on each side. After turning place the pieces of monterey jack cheese on each burger -- Once cooked, the internal temperature should be 170 degrees. Put the rolls on the grill and close the lid until the cheese is melted and the rolls are toasted.
  7. While these cook whisk together a few scoops of crema and chipotle hot sauce (to taste).
  8. Put the burgers on roll bottoms, top with salsa and crema and cover with gutted roll tops.

Notes

These make great sliders too.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/southwestern-turkey-burger/

How to Whip Cream

Fans of whipped cream know that homemade whipped cream is very different than then stuff that comes from an aerosol can.  It tastes better, looks nicer, and it has no preservatives, which is always a plus.

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to create your own perfectly light and smooth whipped cream:

  1. First things first, do not over-whip your cream!  It happens fast, so watch for it.  You’ll know by the texture and taste.  Over-whipped cream is grainy and tastes heavy.  Really, REALLY over-whipped cream starts to separate and form butter.  You want your whipped cream to create soft peaks, and is light and billowy.
  2. Start with cold heavy cream, granulated (or fine) sugar, and vanilla extract.  You can also flavor the cream with vanilla sugar.  You’ll need a whisk (if you’re up for some vigorous wrist action) or a hand mixer.  A standing mixer is good for larger amounts of whipped cream, but you risk over-whipping.  Your bowl should be big enough to accommodate the expanding cream.
  3. Being whipping the cream.  Rotate the beater around the bowl at a medium speed.
  4. When the cream starts to thicken into the first hints of soft peaks — you’ll see little wave-like streaks through the cream., add a small amount of sugar and a few drops of vanilla.  Add the sugar to taste.  If you like barely sweetened whipped cream, use about 1 teaspoon per cup of cream.  Load up to 1 Tablespoon per cup if you like sweeter creams.  1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract per cup of cream should do it.
  5. Reduce speed (to medium-low) and watch carefully.   It’s almost done at this point.  Note that with an electric mixer, a half-cut of cream will whip in under 2 minutes.
  6. The whipped cream is done when it holds together enough to hold a dollop shape.  Use it right away if possible.  Spoon and enjoy!

Note: For a stiff and stable whipped cream (for decorating a cake), soften a little gelatin in cold water and then heat it to a simmer until the gelatin dissolves.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature and add it to the cream, along with the sugar and vanilla.

Thanks to Kumiko of Recipe Interrupted for these tips!

How to Cheat the Half & Half System

Does your recipe call for Half & Half but you finished your carton on this morning’s coffee?

Easy fix!  If you have milk and cornstarch laying about, you can create the illusion of creaminess by mixing these two ingredients.  Just be sure to add the cornstarch a little (about half a teaspoon) at a time so you don’t over-thicken.

Heck, if you do over-thicken, you can always add more milk.  It’s almost fool-proof!

Ginger Carrot Rice

Are you asking yourself if you should make this recipe?  Well the answer is: YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES EYS YES EYS YES YSEYSE YSEYSEySYeyEYSEYSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!

{Insert very happy tastebuds here}

I will never think of carrots the same way again.  I suppose you can take that as a warning if you steam, bake, roast carrots and are satisfied.  If you are the type of person who likes carrots just as they are, DO NOT TRY THIS RECIPE!

For those of  you who live on the wild side from time to time, TRY THIS RECIPE!!

…especially when you don’t know what to do with those leftover carrots.

Ginger Carrot Rice

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 2 - 3 Servings

Ginger Carrot Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, ground
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook rice and water. Bring water and rice to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low, cover, and allow rice to steam for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until transparent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in ginger, carrots, and salt. Reduce heat and cover to steam for five minutes. Add cayenne pepper and nuts.
  4. After the rice is cooked, add the rice to your skillet and stir gently. Combine with all other ingredients. Garnish with a bit of cilantro.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/ginger-carrot-rice/

Baked Pineapple Chicken

There is a huge market in Brighton, Colorado that offers all sorts of goodies once the spring thaw hits.  This market is so huge, in fact, that it’s named the Mile High Marketplace.  You can find anything from food to used items, and the hustle and bustle is always entertainment in itself.

I purchased a delicious smelling pineapple and had to create a recipe around it.  Although I admit that this recipe was really an excuse to make the Ginger Carrot Rice recipe I had recently fallen in love with.  I had a few leftover carrots from a previous soup adventure that I wanted to use  and jazz them up as a new and improved side dish.  This meal is chock full of flavor.  The pineapple provides the sweet and tang while the carrot ginger rice tingles your senses as it fills your belly.

If you like spice, serve this with a little jerk sauce on the side.

Oh uh, here’s a napkin… you’re drooling.

Baked Pineapple Chicken

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

Baked Pineapple Chicken

Ingredients

  • Six half chicken breasts (drumsticks work well too)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • Fresh or canned pineapple (you will yield more sauce with canned pineapple)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoons rosemary, crushed

Directions

  1. For the marinade, place your chicken pieces in a large ziplock bag and pour about vinegar and teriyaki into the bag, enough to cover and coat your chicken. Add about garlic (the more the merrier here), mix the contents, and marinate anywhere from 2 hours to overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Drain pineapple (if canned) and reserve juice. Combine juice with garlic, cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and rosemary.
  3. Arrange chicken in a shallow baking dish, skin side up. Broil on high until browned. Stir sauce, pour over chicken, cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Arrange lemon and pineapple slices around chicken. Spoon sauce over all. Bake for 5 more minutes.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/baked-pineapple-chicken/

Suggested accompaniment:

Serve this with Ginger Carrot Rice.

Photo courtesy of ChineseFoodRecipes.org

How to Tell How Your Steak is Cooked

One of the biggest no-no’s in cooking is cutting into a piece of steak (or hamburger or any red meat) to see if it is cooked to your liking. Doing so releases all of the delicious juices you just worked so hard to seer into the darn thing!

There are different tricks to use to determine how your steak is cooked.  I use this method:

Poke the steak gently with your tongs (or if you’re cooking for people you know, I don’t mind using my little finger!)

  • If it feels like your chin, then it’s rare
  • If it feels like your nose, then it’s medium
  • If it feels like your forehead, then it’s well done

Try feeling your face right now and trying it out.  Don’t worry, it takes a long time to master the “steak touch.”  Just keep practicing.  Feel your steak with your finger, take a guess and then read your steak with a meat thermometer to see how you did.

What method do you use?

How to Cut a Pineapple

Tis the season (for pineapples!) Here are some handy tricks to help you shop and cut fresh pineapple!

Note: This is a very juicy process, make sure you’re working on a stick-friendly area.

1. Firstly, you want to buy a pineapple that has firm, golden brown skin. The leaves should be green and not wilted or brown. Also a ripe pineapple will have a fresh pineapple smell.
2. Cut off the leaves and the bottom of the pineapple (about 1/2 inch from the edge). I tend to lean towards serrated knives whilst doing this step. It makes life a little easier.
3. Next, set your fruit upright. You’ll notice brown dots along the top of the fruit. Cut downward along these dot paths and begin skinning the fruit. Follow the curve of the pineapple to maximize yummy fruit action!
4. Cut off the rest of the pineapple skin in the same manner. Just be careful not too cut too much of the fruit off.
5. Once you have completely skinned the fruit, remove any remaining spots with a paring knife.
6. From here you may decide if you want pineapple rings or chunks. If you want rings, slice the pineapple into rings but be sure to remove the inner core with a paring knife. Nobody likes eating that stuff…
7. If you prefer chunks, cut the pineapple into four, long sections (cutting straight through the core).
8. Place the fruit section, core side up and carefully cut the core off of the fruit. You can tell what part is the core because it will be tougher in nature and lighter than the rest of the fruit. Repeat this step with the rest of the quarters.
9. Once you have removed the core, you can cut the remaining fruit into chunks.
10. Make sure you refrigerate your fruit!

How to Boil an Incredibly Edibly Egg

This is a tip I picked up from Monsieur Jacques Pepin.

Simply prick a hole in the shell at the wide end of the egg (through the small air pocket).  You can do this with a sewing needle or pushpin (and if you’re really careful, a single prong of a fork).  Pricking the shell allows the pressure the equalize and gases to escape during the cooking process.  No more greenish eggs!

Place your egg in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil and turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the egg and how you like it cooked.  If you have a large egg and you like your hard-boiled eggs with hard yolks, then simmer your egg a little longer (6 or 7 minutes).  Pour the water out and violently shake the egg in the pot, allowing it to bang against the sides to help crack the shell.  Submerge the egg in cold water.  Once cool, peel the egg under running water.

Voilà!  A perfect hard-boiled egg.

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