Monday, February 25, 2013

Smoked Gouda Turkey Burgers with Caramelized Onion Skillet Potatoes

The inspiration for these recipes comes from my recent purchase of fresh thyme and fresh oregano. I didn't want them to go to waste after having a lot leftover from my Chicken Meatball dinner the other night.

So I began by opening my fridge to see what I had. I decided on the fresh herbs, smoked Gouda cheese (from my sammiches for lunch), smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. The beauty of these types of recipes is that you can use whatever you have on hand, or whatever sounds good to you at the time!

I chopped up maybe a good tablespoon or so of each of the herbs, and I used 4 slices of the cheese and chopped them into fairly small pieces.



Fresh herbs just make everything prettier! Based on my turkey burgers from last time, I decided to add a few tablespoons of bread crumbs and an egg to hold everything together. Now get your hands in there and start mixing!


I heated a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat and placed the patties in the pan. I made 4 patties, but only 3 would fit - my large pan was already being used for the skillet potatoes. :) Let them cook for about 5 minutes on each side. They should get a nice golden crust on them, and the cheese should start bubbling out. I will say this now, this is going to produce a messy pan, so you will want to clean it out right after cooking your burgers. Trust me on this one. I took out the burgers and immediately added hot water from the tap, and scraped the pan with my plastic spatula.

It all came out!

Had I waited until the oily cheesy mess cooled, I would have had a much different experience.
Yum!
Now, for the skillet potatoes...I actually began cooking this BEFORE I started the burgers. Caramelizing the oinions will take awhile - a good 25 minutes or so. Start by chopping the two ends off your onion, set it on one of the ends, and cut it in half (I should have taken photos of this part. Sorry!) Then lay each half down on the cutting board and slice it all up. You don't need your slices to be super skinny or else they might burn. Mine could stand to be a little thicker, but you get the idea:
Believe it or not, I have never prepared caramelized onions.

Okay, that's a lie. I did once, but not really on purpose. I have seen several cooking shows where they make them, and so I just decided to let them go past the saute stage just to see.

And magic happened...they didn't smell like onions! The kitchen was filled with a heavenly, aromatic, savory aroma. I can't really even explain it in any other way than that - it was just rich and warming.

So you say that you're not an onion fan?

I don't care.

Trust me, your minds will be changed about onions forever.

And don't just order them from a restaurant and say you've "had them".

Cook them yourself, and you will see the magic firsthand.

So, back to potatoes...peel and chop you up some potatoes - any kind, really. I used good ole russets, probably about 6 small for 3 adults. Go ahead and throw them into the pan with the onions. Mine had already cooked down a lot, so you can't really see them very well here:
Actually, they got a little crispy :/
I added Lowry's Seasoned Salt, paprika, ground pepper (freshly ground adds the most flavor, but "pre-gound" pepper adds spice without as much heat) and several thyme sprigs*. Pretty much add whatever spices you want! Let the potatoes cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown and fork tender. Only add salt AFTER tasting - the seasoning salt might be enough. Salt to your preference!

Since my onions got a little burnt, I obviously will want to adjust my timing for next time. I think I will have to fully caramelize the onions, remove them from the pan, cook the potatoes, and then put the onions back in.

*Do not eat the thyme sprigs! Unless you like your fiber from sticks.

SMOKED GOUDA TURKEY BURGERS

6 shakes Worcestershire sauce
6 shakes smoked chipotle Tabasco sauce
1 lb. ground turkey
4 slices smoked gouda cheese, chopped in very small small cubes
1 egg
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

olive oil

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix using hands. 
Form into 4 patties.
Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. 
Place the patties in the pan, letting them cook for 5-7 minutes on each side.
To ensure they are cooked fully, place a lid on the pan, tilted to the side to let steam out, and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so, if needed.


CARAMELIZED ONION SKILLET POTATOES

6 russet potatoes, washed, peeled, and chopped in cubes
1 onion, cut into strips
1 teaspoon Lowry's Seasoning Salt
6 Thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

olive oil

Heat a little olive oil on medium heat.
Add onions and cook for 20- 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove onions from pan, set aside.
Add chopped potatoes and Lowry's, thyme, paprika, and pepper to the pan.
Cook potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are browned and fork tender. Stir occasionally.
Add onions back into the pan.
Stir and bring the onions back up to temperature.

Enjoy!!

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