Monday, December 7, 2009

Turkey Sliders with Caramelized Onions

Some people don't like going to the grocery store.  I can understand that.   There's simply too many options, and if it's late in the afternoon, the store is full of crazed people hurrying to buy what they need for dinner (I've done that plenty of times myself).  If you go late at night (which I've also done), those darn checkers who are always high school age can't seem to ring up things on special correctly.

But...I have to say...I love grocery shopping.  I collect all the grocery flyers, and armed with paper and pencil, I plan out what I want to make for the next week or so.  This doesn't happen every Tuesday (when the flyers come in the mail), but I usually make up a good list of ideas every 2 weeks.

Last week, we needed the basics...milk, bread, eggs, orange juice.  We got to the store--Gabriel always holds the list for me, and headed for the bread aisle. 

Once there, I grabbed our usual, 100% whole wheat sandwich bread, and started towards the dairy case for milk.  And then I stopped. 

Now I know a package of little sandwich buns might not stop traffic.  But they got me thinking. 

My kids love it when I make smaller dishes for them, like mini meatloaves, cupcakes, pancakes, and mini muffins.  I decided to make turkey sliders, and cook down some onions because my hubby loves 'em.  He'll eat onions raw or cooked with just about anything.  Except brisket.  Don't ask him why...he just just doesn't. 

The trick to ground turkey is to add moisture and cook it quickly, otherwise it will be dry, since turkey doesn't have a high fat content either like ground beef.  That's why we add grated apple to the turkey :-). 

So here's a fun recipe your big kids (aka husbands) and little kids will love! And it's healthy too...just don't tell anyone. 

Turkey Sliders with Caramelized Onions

1 pound ground turkey (90/10)
1 medium apple, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1  1/2 teaspoons poulty seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 package (12 count) slider buns/small rolls
tomatoes, lettuce, and other toppings/condiments of choice

Let's start with the onions.  In a small skillet over low heat, saute the red onions in olive oil for 30-45 minutes until they're very soft and caramelized.  About 10 minutes in, season with some salt and pepper to taste.  This is time-consuming, but it's worth the effort.  I get a big kiss from my hubby whenever I make these.  Plus you can make them ahead of time, and just reheat when needed. 

Turkey is next!  In a large bowl, combine the turkey, grated apple, garlic, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, allspice, and parsley.  Mix gently until combined, but don't overdo it.

As a side note...use the small holes on your grater to grate the apple.  The large holes will be too big...the small bits of apple will mix more easily into the turkey. 

You can shape the little burgers by hand, but I like using a mold.  For regular sized burgers, I use a peanut butter lid; this time I used a lid from a large spice jar.  Next time, I want to try something just a little bigger...I forgot the burgers would shrink a little after cooking. 

Just take a piece of plastic wrap and line the lid. 

Scoop the turkey mixture in and pack it in gently. 

Then unmold onto a plate.  Easy as pie!

Continue with the rest of the turkey mixture.  I ended up with 11 may or may not get the same number. 

The day I made these, it was cold and rainy outside, so I fired up my indoor grill pan.  You can pan-fry these or stick 'em under the broiler if you don't have a grill pan.  These will take about 3-4 minutes per sure not to overcook them or they'll be dry.  I made these in the afternoon and reheated them for dinner. 

For those fancy grill marks...just rotate the burgers 90 degrees after 2 minutes.  But I only did it for y'all...the kids could care less. 

David, Rebecca and I like everything on our burgers.  The rest of the kids just like cheese and ketchup.  I cut a slice of cheese small enough to cover the patty and used roma tomatoes (since they're smaller).  Feel free to make your burger the way you want ;-)

I made ours like this.  Lettuce and turkey...

Cheese, tomato, and pickles...

And some caramelized onions...yum!  The kids like to add ketchup/mustard themselves. 

Then the cap...and don't forget to open wide!

I made a plate for David "to go," only to realize he had a meeting at church that night, and dinner would be provided.  Oh well...guess I'll have to eat it ;-). 

In keeping with the heathly theme of this meal, I made Sweet Potato Fries and Roasted Broccoli on the side.  They're my go-to sides these days because sweet potatoes are good for you...and we have plenty of broccoli from the garden. 

These turned out really great...kid-friendly and easy to make in advance.  I wanted to post this last week, but figured it was too soon after Thanksgiving, and nobody wanted to be anywhere near any form of turkey. 

Hope you enjoy 'em, and God Bless your table!

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