Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stuffed Turkey Swiss Burgers

Vintage Take on Cheeseburgers

Recipe by Robin

There’s something about warm weather that inspires me to remember summers past. Long-ago skinny-dips in a few choice lakes, sun and fun at the beach, picnics with family members who have now passed on. Along with memories of celebrations and excursions, I remember the day-to-day summertime of my childhood. When I was on break from school, my mom designated me as assistant cook. While still at work, Mom would call me and instruct me on how to begin preparation of the family evening meal. She completed the cooking tasks when she got home. Sometimes I’d come up with an idea on my own and cook the entire meal myself. So this recipe is one of my adolescent ideas. Surprisingly, it passed the blogability test when I made it recently after more decades than I’ll admit to.

Plate of Stuffed Turkey Swiss Burgers
A Burger for All Seasons
Originally, I made this recipe with ground beef and some sort of pre-sliced American cheese that we ate back in those days. I’ve healthy-fied the recipe, using ground turkey and grated Swiss cheese. If you prefer, use ground beef, but skip the olive oil—you won’t need it. Feel free to experiment with any kind of grated cheese that you like. I tried a grated medium cheddar too, but the softer Swiss gave the burgers a plumper profile. Although you can prepare this recipe in any season, it passes my mom’s test for a good summer recipe: easy to prepare and doesn’t heat up the kitchen much. Add a salad and steamed zucchini for a light, garden-based summertime meal.

Burger Plated with Parsley
Requires Little Time or Money
Stuffed Turkey Swiss Burgers
Makes 4 burgers

1 lb. organic ground turkey
3 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. can tomato sauce
Parsley for garnish

It’s easiest to make the patties when the turkey is well-chilled, especially when kitchen is hot. Divide ground turkey into four equal parts. Divide each quarter in half again. Make 8 patties, as thin and even as you can. Be sure that there are no holes or thin spots. Patties will be about 3½ - 4 inches in diameter.

Uncooked Burger Patties in Prep Stages
Keep Cheese off Edges of Patties
Pile grated cheese into the center of 4 of the patties. Don’t spread the cheese to the edges, leave about ½ inch of the patties cheese-free.  Press the cheese down gently so it is as compact and flat as possible.

Using a thin pancake turner or spatula, pick up a no-cheese patty. Place it evenly on top of a cheesy patty. Seal the edges. Pick up the double patty and fine-tune the edges, being sure that they are completely sealed and burger edge is neat and rounded. Place on plate.

Repeat sealing process with 3 remaining burgers.

Turn electric frying pan on to 400 degrees F. When water dropped into the pan sizzles, coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Place burgers in pan. Cook for 4 minutes.

Lower frying pan temperature to 350 degrees F. Flip burgers carefully (a little cheese might leak out). Cook for 2 minutes.

Pour tomato sauce over the top and sides of burgers. Continue to cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, until sauce is heated through.

Remove burgers to serving platter and garnish with parsley.

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