Bringing Something New to the BBQ

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There is something so great about traditional barbecue food. The smells, the sauce, the smoke… Just the atmosphere. Delicious. But with people becoming more and more health conscious, it doesn’t hurt to have a few new twists on some old favorites.

Who doesn’t like a grilled burger? If you say “me”, go away, this isn’t for you. Maybe not all the time, but sometimes a nice burger off the grill or in my case out of the pan, is right on time.

Anyways, I found this recipe in People magazine and did it my way:

Garden Turkey Burger

Ingredients:
1lb. Ground Turkey (lean)
2 tbs. Fresh Italian Parsley (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 Plum Tomato (diced no seeds)
1tbs. Green Bell Pepper
1tbs. Red Bell Pepper
2tbs. Chopped Carrots
2tbs. Chopped Red Onion
2tbs. Diced Crimini Mushrooms
1 Egg (whites only)
1tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbs. Italian Bread Crumbs
1tsp. Ground Cumin
1tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste

Should look like a salad, no meat in sight.
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Get your hands dirty. Mix this jive all together.

Now. The choice is yours, you can either A.) make it into lady palm sized meatballs so that when you mash them down on the grill or in my case, the pan, they turn into little sliders. Or B.) make a fist sized hunk of meat into a big ass burger. Do you.

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I like to make my patties and refrigerate them for a spell. Or overnight. Or if I’m just making one for myself, I freeze the rest.

They’re grill ready (or pan). Cook for about 6 mins on each side depending on the thickness of the burger, but cook it all the way through. This is turkey, not beef; Bloody=Salmonella in this case, k?

Slap your sliders on Hawaiian rolls or tiny Ciabatta rolls, or serve it up open-face on your favorite bread, I prefer pumpernickel… But only because it’s incredible.

Heat a pan, add 1tbs. of butter or Olive Oil and toast your bread. Or brush the bread with oil and let it get warm on the grill. Either way, serve with warm bread. Makes it even better.

Oh… And feel free to add cheese. Found something called JalapeƱo White Cheddar that rocks my socks.

And in case you were wondering, that’s pesto mayonnaise on that burger. Store bought pesto, 2tbs. Lemon juice, 2 tbs. Mayonnaise…fin.

Moving along to a delicious side item. A co-worker passed along a recipe for French Potato Salad, and after sampling her’s I had to give it a shot. Except, of course I had to do it my way. And it turned out delicious.

Cajun French Potato Salad

Ingredients:
6-8 Large Red Skin Potatoes (chopped into 4ths, skin on)
1 Small Red Bell Pepper
1/4 Large Red Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 tbs. Chopped Italian Parsley
1 tbs. Creole Mustard
1 tbs. Cajun Seasoning
Pinch of Cayenne
2 tbs. Olive Oil
3 tbs. White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Parboil potatoes. For those of you that have never done it, it’s simple. Boil for about 12 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. You want them to be somewhat firm. Drain and dump them in an ice bath. Scoop them out and set them in a bowl.

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Now the original recipe for the French potato salad calls for them to be prepared warm. But I did this differently, here’s why.

Add onion, parsley, and red bell pepper to your drained, cooled potatoes.

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In a small pot, or saucer or in my case, metal bowl, pour your olive oil and add minced garlic cloves. Place over the fire and let the oil get warm…Not burn. I love Garlic Oil.

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Into your Garlic Oil, add your Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, cayenne, vinegar and creole mustard. Wisk, Wisk, Wisk… Until you have a delicious warm yellowish dressing.

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Pour on top of potatoes and vegetables, mix but DO NOT refrigerate. Leave it out and let everything come up to room temp. Mix well before serving. You won’t miss the mayo and mustard potato salad. I promise.

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Wanna make it extra good, add scallions or bacon (or turkey bacon). Enjoy.

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