Thursday, 18 June 2015

White Cheddar Turkey Burgers with Grilled Apple and Bacon

Turkey burgers, taken a few steps further, with the addition of white cheddar in, as well as melted on top of the burger.

What a great way to use up that little piece of white cheddar in the fridge!

Add in the leftover BBQ sauce from the ribs on the weekend, some bacon and grilled slices of the apple that was a bit bruised...


The BBQ sauce my husband made for his smoked ribs, a stale piece of French bread, a small piece of white cheddar and a few green onions...along with a bruised apple, these were the inspiration for last night's dinner.

In a large bowl, combine:

4 chopped green onions
1 egg
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Slice white cheddar to top the cooked burgers with, and set it aside. Grate the rest of the cheese.

Add to the bowl:

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup grated white cheddar

Using your (clean!) hands, mix it all until well combined. Add more breadcrumbs if it is too wet and not holding together well.

Divide the mixture into equal size portions and form them into burgers.

I made 5 rather large burgers!

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is time to grill them.

Prepare your buns...I used a little bit of mayonnaise, topped with mixed greens. Quick and simple!

Heat the grill while you finishing preparing everything.

Use an apple corer to remove the core from your apple. Leave the skin on.

Cut thin slices from the apple. If you don't have a mandoline or something similar, use a sharp knife and a steady hand to cut the slices as thinly as possible.

Time to head to the grill...lightly oil it before you start.

 Grill the bacon; I cut the slices in half, giving two pieces per person...they also fit onto the burger better this way.

Watch carefully for flames!

Remove and set on paper towel to soak up any excess fat.

Place the apple slices onto the grill and cook, turning once, until they are lightly marked and slightly crisp.

Remove and set aside while you cook the burgers.

Cook the burgers, rotating once to make grill marks on the first side, then turning over to cook the second side.

When the burgers are half cooked, spread a layer of BBQ sauce over the top of each one.

Top with the sliced white cheddar and the grilled apples. Cover, or close the barbecue, and allow the cheese to melt and the apples to heat through.

Add the bacon and leave it long enough to heat that as well.

By this time the burgers will be fully cooked.

Remove from the grill and place a burger and all its toppings onto the prepared bun. Don't forget to have plenty of napkins on the table! These are juice and messy!

  • Don't limit yourself to turkey...try ground chicken, pork or bison, if you can get hold of some. Both will be great with the apple.
  • Purchased BBQ sauce can be used; I happened to have this very flavorful homemade sauce that my husband had made. I had about 1/2 cup altogether.
  • Add chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme or sage. Spices can also be added to the burgers...cayenne pepper, ground cumin, crushed fennel seeds.
  • White cheddar has a sharper taste than orange cheddar; if you want to use orange use an old, or extra aged, one if you can. Other sharp tasting cheeses such as Asiago, fontina or even smoked cheese can also be used.
  • The grilled apple slices were slightly crispy, but also a bit chewy...kind of like apple chips. The sweetness of the apple was highlighted by the grilling, and they added a nice crunch to the burger. Next time I will add more than 3 pieces per burger. The apple can also be sliced about 1/4" thick; this will give more apple flavour, but will be less crispy.
  • Other fruits that can be grilled and put onto a burger include pineapple, mango, peach, figs (use blue cheese).
  • Grilled vegetables such as red pepper, onion or mushrooms can be used as burger toppings.
  • Ground turkey burgers are a lot softer than beef burgers, so they work best if they are well chilled before being grilled. They can also be made ahead and frozen.
  • Consider dividing each burger into 2 pieces, shaping them and then making a stuffed burger. Place cheese on top of one of the pieces, top it with the second piece and press the edges together, making sure to seal everything well. Chill before cooking.

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