The Best Damn Turkey Burgers

It wasn’t too long ago, that if you asked me what the purpose of a turkey burger was, it would be either a) for a person on a diet or b) the token non-beef burger for someone who didn’t eat red meat. Not something I would ordinarily order until I tried The Continental Club burger at Hopdoddy, a popular burger restaurant in Austin. It was incredible and I was floored. This is my take on the Continental Club; a flavorful turkey burger with the flavors of sun dried tomato and basil…these are the Best Damn Turkey Burgers…Period!

 

Ingredients (Makes 4 Burgers):
20 oz. ground turkey
10 fresh basil leaves
¼ red onion
2 heaping tbsp. sun dried tomatoes
½ cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
Pepper
4 whole wheat buns

Toppings
Bacon
Provolone cheese
Arugula
Red onion
Balsamic glaze

Add basil leaves, red onion and sun dried tomatoes to food processor. Blend until smooth and add to ground turkey. Mix in bread crumbs, salt and pepper until fully incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties and cook in cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Top with your favorite topping and enjoy!

Wine Pairings:
Averaen Pinot Noir 2015

Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup

Italian Sausage and Gnocchi SoupThis comforting soup is so easy to make, thanks to the prepackaged gnocchi that cook directly in the soup. Gnocchi, small potato dumplings that cook in just a few minutes, can be found vacuum-packed in the pasta aisle (I got mine at Trader Joe’s). An added bonus – the starches from the gnocchi release into the soup while cooking, which thicken the hearty broth and guarantee to warm you up on a chilly evening. Add some spicy turkey sausage, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, shallots and zucchini, and you’ve got a healthy, flavorful, balanced meal that is ready in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 lb. Italian turkey sausage links (hot or mild)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes (including liquids)
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
1 lb. potato gnocchi
2 medium zucchini, cut into small cubes
15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Italian Sausage and Gnocchi Soup 2Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook sausage links in shallow baking pan until cooked throughout, about 15 minutes. In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil on medium-low heat, until shallots and garlic sizzle when added. Sauté shallots and garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes, add diced tomatoes with liquid, chicken broth, sugar, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat up to medium and add gnocchi and zucchini. Bring back up to a light boil, and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until both are cooked. While gnocchi and zucchini are simmering, slice sausage links into discs. Add cannellini beans and sausage and stir until heated, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately and top with grated cheese.

Enjoy!

Wine Pairing:
Poggio al Casone Toscana 2010

(Make ahead tip: If you are planning to make this in advance, prepare gnocchi as directed on package, store separately from soup, and add gnocchi to soup as it’s reheating.  This will prevent the gnocchi from absorbing too much of the soup liquid while storing and becoming mushy.)