I love, love, love Thanksgiving. Honestly- I think it is an absolutely stupendous holiday. I am quite positive that that has nothing to do with the fact that the whole thing is centered around food- no not at all ;-). So a few years back I started making Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers as a way to recreate that delicious day quickly and easily all year long. Basically these little guys combine all of the great aspects of the meal into one little burger- onions, cranberries, mushrooms, and lots of sage. To me, there is just nothing better than the delicious tastes of Thanksgiving during a heat wave in July- call me crazy. So last night, still battling through tons of apples from our adventure on Saturday, I decided to try a new take on my ode to Turkey Day and see if I could bring the element of Apple Pie.
1 lb lean ground turkey meat
1 1/2 tsp ground garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
9 slices (thin) apple
9 thin slices Cabot Cheddar (I used reduced fat)
1/4 cup good pumpkin beer
Place the turkey meat in a bowl or container suitable for mixing. Grind together the next 5 ingredients in a mortar and pestle if available, or use the back of a spoon in a sturdy container. Blend until the fennel seeds begin to break apart and the sage is full mixed with the dry ingredients. Combine this mixture, and the chopped cranberries into the turkey meat until fully incorporated, and then make patties. For some reason I only got 3 patties out of my pound of meat- usually I can get 4.
Heat a large non stick skillet pan over medium high heat, and then cook the burgers un covered for 7-10 minutes depending on their thickness, flip, and cook for another 5. Then, place three slices of apple on top of each burger, and then cover with three slices of cheddar cheese. Cover the pan. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, as the cheese is melting, pour the beer into the pan- it should NOT cover the bottom, and replace the cover on the pan. Make sure the meat is fully cooked through and serve.
I had mine on a sandwich thin with just a little mayo and some beautiful slices of avocado and man- this was a delicious burger. Great flavors of fall with the pungent sage and sweet tart cranberries brought me right back to the Thanksgiving table with my family. Mmm and the fennel seed- I LOVE fennel seed- it totally makes anything taste like decadent sausage-yum!! I also really loved the combination of sweet apple on top though, smothered in cheddar cheese. It lent a really fun texture contrast and really brought in that beautiful flavor of fall with a classic combination.
This may have been one of my favorite homemade burgers, and definitely one that I'll be making quite a few more times!