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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Flank Steak with Caper Sauce

Birthday dinner.  As an adult it just isn't the same.  But, that's just fine because so many wonderful birthday memories are made in kidhood.  Mom always let us choose what we wanted.  Flank steak with caper sauce was always my choice.  You know how the steakhouses typically top their beautiful steaks with a pat of butter?  Well, this lovingly coats thin slices of rare flank steak with butter and capers.  Heavenly!

If you want the story about how we came to have this, you need to go back and read my post about Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.  The end result?  Connie loved the family favorite.  I saved half of the steak for him to eat while I was out of town at a conference - women only, how fun is that!  He loved putting different condiments with the steak slices on Triscuits.  Word of warning here:  flank steak does not feel like other steak when you're checking for doneness on the grill.  If you're not careful, you'll way overcook it.  And, it is MUCH better served rare or medium rare. 

Here's a photo of my grandmother's original recipe:

Actually, there's a story behind why it's printed on that piece of paper.  I wanted to organize my recipes electronically.  Both so there was a backup and so I'd be able to share them more easily.  Connie showed me how to scan them in and upload them to Word.  I got less than half of my TRIED recipes in and ran out of room on Word.  I had no clue it'd fill up.  Betcha you didn't either, eh?  That's when I said there had to be a better way and found blogging.  Now that the computer in the kitchen is MIA, it's either be wasteful and print the recipe and carry it to the kitchen or run back and forth.  You can see what the verdict was in this case. 

Well, there you have it.  My kidhood birthday entree and my blogging history.  Now, time for the recipe:

Flank Steak with Caper Sauce
serves 8


1/2 c butter
4 t vinegar (I use red wine vinegar but back in the day Grammie probably used cider vineger)
2-3 T capers
2 T parsley (I leave this out most of the time)
2 lb flank steak


Melt the butter and stir in the vinegar, capers and parsley.  Broil the steak until it's medium rare or rare.  Remove it from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.  Slice it very thinly against the grain.  Serve drizzled with the caper butter.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pear Frangipane Tart

I love the Secret Recipe Club.  It's such a fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with a blog I'd probably never have found on my own.  It's tough to find new blogs when life is so busy that getting posts on my own blog is a problem.  From after Labor Day until tax season is over, I barely have time to breathe.  That's why I so enjoy browsing through another blog searching for just the perfect recipe to try.  With GeorgieCakes that's easier said than done.  She has quite the collection of wonderful recipes.  I was stumped.  And, I knew I didn't have time to try four or five and choose my favorite to blog about.  Then, I saw this recipe.  My wonderful husband, Connie, LOVES pears.  They're his favorite fruit.  And, he loves pies.  Perfect.  My search was over.  Now, I just have to find the time to go back and try the other dozen recipes I found :-)

Now, just a word here about the Secret Recipe Club.  It's a group of 300 bloggers who are randomly assigned a blog.  We're divided into four groups and each group posts one Monday of the month.  So, the Mondays that I don't have a SRC post, you can hop over to their website at and see what everyone's posted.

And, I do want to introduce you to Georgia of Georgiecakes.  She's a hoot.  As I'm typing this on Tuesday, September 21 at o'dark thirty, I hopped over to check out what she's got on her blog now.  Maple pesto.  Made with three different kinds of nuts.  Be still my heart!  That one is going on the menu for sure!!  I love Georgia's enthusiasm and her wonderful recipes.  Hers is a blog I'll use regularly.  Thanks Georgia!!  Here's a link to her original post:  Pear Frangipane Tart

What did we think?  There's half a tart left.  It's early in the morning.  I want a slice.  Really want a slice.  But, it's my oatmeal morning.  Ugh.  Pear tart would be so much better.  The recipe sounds more complicated than it is.  And, you can make pieces and parts ahead of time so it's perfect for entertaining.  Just get all the components made in advance and put together your tart the day of the party.  I poached the pears the night before and refrigerated them in the poaching liquid - which was incredible.  The next evening when I made the frangipane (just try and keep from licking that bowl!) and baked the tart, I couldn't bear to toss the poaching liquid.  It was just too good.  So, I poured it in a little saucepan and thickened it with some cornstarch.  In the event it wasn't perfect with the tart, I spooned a bit around the edges of the plate instead of drizzling it over the tart.  Either way works because we practically licked our plates.  If you're being really adventurous, you can make a homemade pie crust and put a bit of pear nectar in it instead of water.  Ok, I've got to quit writing about this tart or my oatmeal won't get eaten. 

Pear Frangipane Tart

For the pears:
6 bosc or anjou pears
3 T melted butter
3 T sugar
1 c white wine
1/2 c Lyle's golden syrup (or 1/4 c honey, maple syrup or Karo syrup)
2 T vanilla bean paste (I didn't have any so used about a teaspoon of vanilla extract)

For the frangipane:
1 c almonds, toasted (whole, sliced or slivered work, you're going to grind them anyway!)
1/2 c
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 t flour
1/2 t salt (I left this out and didn't miss it in the least)
1 vanilla bean, halved with seeds scraped out


First, you're going to poach the pears.  You'll need to peel the pears and cut the bottoms off so they'll stand upright.  Put the melted butter into a measuring cup.  One by one, dunk the pears in the melted butter. 

Stand them in a baking dish and pour in the rest of the butter. 

Sprinkle them generously with the sugar.  Mix the Lyle's Golden Syrup

and the wine.  Pour that mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. 

Bake the pears at 425 for about 45 minutes or until they're very soft.  Baste the pears occasionally with the juices.

Next, you need to make the frangipane.  Put the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until they're well ground.  Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream until they're pale and fluffy.  Add the egg and egg yolk and mix for two minutes.  Finally, add the almond mixture, flour, vanilla bean seeds.  Mix for about three minutes.

Both the pears and the frangipane can be made 2-3 days in advance.  Be sure to reserve the poaching liquid.

Now, it's time to assemble the tart.  You can either make a pie crust or cheat like I did and use one of the pre-made ones.  Spread the frangipane filling in the bottom of the crust. 

Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and pat them dry.  Cut them in half and remove the seeds.  Slice the pears into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay the slices on the frangipane in a circular pattern. 

Bake the tart for 45-50 minutes at 350.  Just about when you're ready to take the tart out of the oven, pour the poaching liquid into a small saucepan.  Mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to make a slurry.  Cook the poaching liquid on medium heat and thicken with the corn starch.  Serve the slices of pie with a drizzle of the sauce. 

Note from Connie:  This may be his favorite pie ever.  While I was at a conference, he inhaled the other half. 

adapted from GeorgieCakes


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chutney Chicken and Pistachio Salad

$6.72.  That's what I spent on a new cookbook called Simple Suppers.  I told myself I have enough cookbooks and didn't need to buy one when we were at Sam's Club today.  But, I browsed through this one and found several good ideas and thought what the heck.  Let me digress by saying it's been a crazy week and weekend so simple and flavorful ideas really appealed to me Saturday afternoon.  Wednesday, I took off for Los Angeles.  My broker/dealer was having a women's conference.  Their first ever.  I was a speaker on the marketing and networking panel.  Probably because I'm so shy - lol.  Ok, probably not.  It's because I do a radio show and a ton of seminars on Social Security.  I know, you probably think hearing about that is like watching paint dry.  But, we're a bunch of geeks and we like to talk to each other about these things.  So, I got to LA and waited for my luggage.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, just about the last bag out was mine.  Then, I hailed a cab and headed to Santa Monica. Now, I'm used to traveling with Connie.   Both my broker/dealer and the producers group I'm with encourage us to bring our spouses to events.  Not this time.  Women only.  Men weren't welcome for the most part.  So, I was schlepping the suitcase, my purse and a ten ton briefcase with all my Social Security notes and my laptop.  Ugh.  I got to the hotel and checked in and zoomed to my room and changed clothes and headed for the reception for Peggy Fleming.  Yes, that Peggy Fleming.  The ice skater.  She's totally lovely.  We were all assigned three other women to meet.  They worked really hard to find folks with similar interests that we didn't know.  Well, I got Amy who runs the radio show for Dean and Sarah who manages his office got me.  We all had a good laugh over that.  Thursday morning started really early.  There was a networking breakfast at 7:00 and I had to log onto the office to work well before the breakfast started.  I walked back into my room at 9:49 that evening.  Actually, let me confess that in between the end of the program and 9:49, NPC treated some of us to some wonderful sushi.  Salmon carpaccio with shaved truffle.  Yellowtail with chiles.  Crunchy tuna rolls.  Albacore tuna with avocado.  Oh, my, it was wonderful.  And, the company.  Just incredible. 

Friday morning it was back to work.   The conference lasted until about 1:30.  At that point, I schlepped all of my gear a couple of blocks up the street to NPC's office.  Now, let me show you my friend, Robin and the view from her office.

Now, let me ask you exactly how much work you'd get done if you had that view.  I know, me too.  Zero, zip, zilch.  How incredible is that?  My flight didn't take off until 10:30 pm so after I'd had an opportunity to visit with all my buddies, Robin and I took off on a tour.  We headed up to Topanga Canyon and THE valley.

 See the hummingbird?

Along the way, we met up with her hubby and son.  Andy decided he wanted to go with us to see the PLANES.  Wow!  When you're a little shaver, the planes are pretty darned exciting things!!  Is he a cutie or what? 

On our way out of the valley, Robin took me to In'N Out Burger.  YUM!  I landed at 6:00 am Saturday morning.  Very happy to be home and to see my sweetie and to get some sleep!!!  I crawled out of bed about late in the morning and dug into the office and got a lot done.  About the middle of the afternoon,  we realized that the play at Civic Theatre started at 5:00 and not the normal 7:00.  Time to get into panic mode.  We headed to Sam's, got home and unloaded that stuff then Connie went to the grocery and I started in.  I had an hour to put all the Sam's stuff away, make chili, prep sausage for sausage and kale lasagna, prep mushrooms for chicken/mushroom pot pie and figure out something for a really late lunch.  New cookbook to the rescue.  Didn't think I'd ever get back to that did you?  I know.  Connie says I'm like an ancient civilization:  BabbleOn...  Bada bing, bada boom. 

Turns out I'd bought a rotisserie chicken for the chicken and mushroom pot pie.  But, I only need half.  And, I had all the other ingredients on hand for this chicken salad.  I'd read the recipe on the way home and thought if I could get everything else done, I could quickly fix this.

What did we think?  Fantasic flavor.  I loved the mix of textures and flavors and colors.  I ate mine on a bed of lettuce and Connie wanted his slapped between two pieces of bread.  We both loved it.  Lana's will stay my go-to chicken salad.  But, this will absolutely be made on a regular basis.  There wasn't a single thing I'd change.

Chutney Chicken and Pistachio Salad
serves 4


2 c diced chicken
1 lemon
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c mango chutney
1 T dijon mustard
1 c seedless red grapes, halved or quartered (depending on their size)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
1/3 c pistachios


Mix the dressing.  In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chutney, dijon mustard, 1 T of lemon juice and 1 t of lemon zest.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, grapes, celery, onion and pistachios. 

Gently toss the chicken mixture with the dressing.  Serve on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Ah, just the name conjours up wonderful kidhood memories.  Growing up it was Campbell's Tomato Soup and Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese on good white bread.  Nowadays, we eat bread with rocks.  Or at least whole grains.  And, the kinds of cheese vary with what's at the front of the cheese drawer. 

It was a busy day today.  Very busy.  I got home well after 7:00 and started in on my recipe for the Secret Recipe club.  It's due to be posted next Monday but I'm out of town at the National Planning Holdings Women's Conference Wed-Sat so prep time is limited.  I figured I'd get half of it done tonight and the other half tomorrow evening. 

On the way home, as usual, I called Mom.  She'd been to a luncheon today where one of the recipes included capers.  The hostess had never used capers and didn't really know what they were nor where to find them in the grocery store.  Now, growing up our birthday dinner was always flank steak with caper sauce.  So, Mom repeated the story she'd told at lunch today.  When my younger brother, John, was a little shaver (like 3 or 4) the two of us were at the Murray's for dinner.  Jack, thinking John probably wouldn't want what the big folks were eating and thinking he'd probably want a hot dog or hamburger asked what he'd like for dinner.  John promptly responded with the fact that he'd be delighted to have flank steak with caper sauce.  Precocious young man, eh?  Now, I'd forgotten all about that story so I told Connie as soon as I got home.  He thought it was hysterical and asked why I'd never fixed him flank steak with caper sauce. So, that became one of the choices for dinner.  Except we didn't have one in the freezer and having one would involve a trip to the grocery.  Choice number two was a grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere and some other goodies.  Unfortunately, I only had enough of the other main ingredient to make the Secret Recipe Club recipe. 

It was now almost 8:00 and dinner wasn't started.  Time to pull out the Knorr's soup.  Tomato Basil.  It's good if a bit thin.  So, I dressed it up a bit.  Added a can of crushed tomatoes, some chopped basil and a good slug of cream.  And, it wound up being quite good.  The gruyere was out so that became the base for the grilled cheese.  We loved the grilled cheese.  And, best of all, I have half of my sandwich and a bowl of soup leftover for tomorrow's lunch.  Score!

Gruyere and Salami Grilled Cheese
serves 2

olive oil
4 slices whole grain bread
spicy mustard
8 thin slices gruyere cheese
16 thin slices salami
blue cheese
mozzarella cheese


Pour some olive oil in a large skillet.  You just want to coat the bottom of the skillet.  Slather the slices of bread with the spicy mustard.  On two slices of bread, lay the gruyere, then the salami then the blue cheese sprinkles then the shredded mozzarella.  Top with another slice of bread.  Grill until both sides are nice and toasty brown and the cheese is all melty.  See that wonderful blue cheese oozing out?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feeling Green

It's official.  Urban chicken coops are now the hot topic.  It used to be that you'd read about them in Mother Earth News.  Now, it's the Indianapolis Star.  And, they're having a chicken coop tour here in Indy.  No, I'm not sure when because I'm not going.  As usual, I'll be working on Saturdays.   But, I am feeling very left behind on this trend.  We have a great garden.  And, a dog who hunts chipmunks and other vermin who make the mistake of coming into our back yard.  And, a couple of FOBs (that would be fat orange boys to the unitiated) who on occasion catch their own chipmunk.  The FOBs were about nine months old and feral when I captured them.  Now, they have the best of both worlds - part of the back yard constrained by an invisible fence, a fur-lined cat house on the deck and the screened porch with a regular water bowl in the summer and the super deluxe heated model in the winter.  They are much happier boys than they were when they were spoiled rotten house cats.  But, I have no chickens.  Nor do I have bunnies to create wonderful bunny poop fertilizer for my garden.  And, alas, I don't have my own crop of worms.  I was feeling so good because we have a wonderful compost bin and I do compost all the waste I can.  I have a great compost bowl.  It's a crockery bowl that was my grandmother's.  It may be nuts to have an expensive antique as my compost bowl but I think that's a far bit better than having something ugly sitting out on my counter.  We recycle too.  Again, pretty much everything we can.  We've replaced most of our lawn with flower beds.  And, we really try to avoid putting chemicals on our lawn or plants.  But, no we don't have our own chickens.  Annie the dog would eat them.  I'm afraid the folks in the neighborhood who are already irritated by our lack of expansive lawn would be even more irritated by a chicken coop.  So, try as I might to be green I guess I'm just not THAT green. 

The other thing we do that's pretty green is try to eat local.  It doesn't always work out.  Like the evening this week when I got home pretty late and just wanted to get dinner on the table.  Burgers and potato puffs from the freezer and a grilled guacamole.  The only local item in the entire menu was the tomatoes.  I made a more complicated version of the guacamole from one of Cat Cora's cookbooks.  This was super simple.  And, we loved it.  One of the splurges I've found to be very worthwhile is flavored vinegars and olive oils.  It doesn't take a lot so a $15 bottle of Meyer Lemon Olive Oil will last me 6-8 months.  And the flavor is incredible.

Side note:  I'm typing this on a Friday evening while Connie's playing bridge.  I have what we lovingly refer to as the large black mosquito whining at my elbow.  It is 8:24.  She gets a scooby snack at 8:30 every evening.  I'm usually here at the computer hooked up to the office computer about that time.  Since I'm the closest to the scooby snack storage, I'm the designated bugee.  Whine, nudge, look pitiful.  Poor Annie just doesn't get enough love and affection.  Breakfast in the morning.  Go to the office and have a chase around the file cabinets with all the gals - who by the way buy her dog toys.  Then, a cracker at lunch.  Pets and rubs and belly rubs from all the clients.  And, snacks and rubs from Tommy our wonderful UPS guy.  A walk after lunch.  Home for a bite of dinner.  A lamb treat at 7:00.  A scooby snack at 8:30.  A handful of the FOBs dry food when it comes in about 10:00.  Then, off to sleep on the floor at the foot of our bed.  Poor, pitiful Annie.  Don't you feel sorry for her?  Ah, that's all taken five minutes to type.  Please excuse me while I go take care of a dog's needs. 

Simple Grilled Guacamole
serves two

1 avocado, peeled and halved
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into four slices
2 small tomatoes, halved
lemon olive oil
lemon balsamic vinegar


You can use any kind of grill or grill pan for this.  It takes about five minutes to grill.  Make sure your grill is well oiled.  You'll want to use direct heat on medium.  Put the onion slices and avocado halves on when you've got five minutes to go on the rest of your meal.  Flip them after about three minutes.  Put the tomato halves on at that time.  Two minutes later, remove the vegetables to plates.  Start with the avocado halves then break the onions into rings.  Put the tomato halves on the sides.  Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar.  If you don't have lemon flavored, I'd imagine you can substitute regular evoo, white balsamic and a splash of lemon juice.  Serve.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Indigo Duck

Have you ever had an experience at a restaurant where the food was really, really good but the overall experience was so bad that you really don't want to go back in spite of the fact you'd like to try one of everything on the menu?

About a year ago, a place called the Indigo Duck opened in a small town about half an hour south of Indianapolis.  Franklin is halfway between Indianapolis and Columbus.  I have a number of clients in Columbus who've become really good friends.  How cool it would be to have a place halfway in between where we could meet for dinner.  Extra lovely as my former admin, Amber used to say.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to Franklin we go.  We were both VERY excited to try Indigo Duck because we'd had a duck slider at a tasting called Dig-IN.  It was VERY good.  We arrived to find a lovely little restaurant.  Bar right inside the front door and seating in the back.  I'm guessing eight four-tops and four two-tops.  There was a special going on called Savour the Southside.  A three course meal for $30.  A very nice bargain. 

A nice gal came to take our wine order and we were thrilled with the fact that they had a half-price wine list.  We ordered an Albarino.  About that time, it got crowded.  And noisy.  AS IN YOU CAN'T TALK IN ANYTHING OTHER THAN A SHOUT BECAUSE THERE'S NO WAY ANYONE CAN HEAR YOU OTHERWISE.  Goodness, did I ever leave that place with a headache!  That and the fact that I missed a great deal of the conversation with our friends Jim and Donna wasn't too much fun either. 

Time to tap your fingers on the table.  We were seated at about 6:30.  The wine got to us about 6:50 and the bread about 7:05.  It was decent french bread and plain butter.  Nothing to write home about but nothing bad either.  The service was proving to be pitiful.  They knew Savour the Southside was on.  Why didn't they prepare for it?  Why did it take half an hour for bread to be served?

Then, the part that finished honking me off.  The waitress announced that only if everyone at the table was participating in Savour the Southside could we do that.  Huh?  It's not disclosed on their menu.  It's not disclosed on the web site.  If there had been another decent resaurant in walking distance, I'd have walked.  That's bait and switch in my book.  You either tell it like it is up front or forget about it.

So, we ordered an appetizer to split and ordered our entrees.  She encouraged me to order an appetizer and I told her I was intentionally ordering less than the prix fixe so my ticket would be less.  The appetizer came and was wonderful.  Connie had ordered a fried green tomato.  It came layered with Capriole Farms goat cheese.  YUM! 

Then, we waited and waited and waited and waited.  Well, you get the idea.  It was well after 7:45 when our entrees finally showed up.  I had a pork loin with braised cabbage and risotto. 

Connie had a meatloaf with broccoli and mashed potatoes. 

Jim and Donna both had the salmon. 

The food was very good.  No, it was better than that.  It was extremely good.  The serving sizes were perfect.  The entrees were great and the sides with them were exactly what each entree needed.  The only complaint I had with the food was that the chef was a bit too free with the salt shaker.  But, I won't be back because I don't want to deal with driving 45 minutes to not be able to chat with my friends and have horrible service.  As a destination restaurant, this place should've been on it's toes to make sure they're overwhelming newbies with great service and great food.  As the downtown Indianapolis restaurants have found, Devour Downtown (which operates the same way) has really been a way to attract new regulars.  Unfortunately, someone at the Indigo Duck was pretty tone deaf!  I'd love to go back and try some other dishes but we eat out too rarely for me to spend my scarce entertainment dollars on another experience like this. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Turkey Burgers with Brie, Bacon and Cranberry Relish

I'm blessed and privileged to work with some of the most incredible people in the world.  This past weekend we went up to Chicago so I could attend a meeting with my colleagues.  Friday evening we gathered for cocktails before dinner.  Connie and I were thrilled to find an Erath Pinot Noir on the wine list in the bar.  It's one of our favorites.  Then, I found a Chappellet Cuvee on the wine list at dinner.  Score.  Another lovely wine.  Connie had steak Diane and I had crispy chicken with fingerling potatoes.  As per usual, we traded halves so we could both enjoy two dishes. 

Saturday evening after a VERY long day of meetings a bunch of us hiked down the street a ways to Carmines.  There, Connie and I split an order of lasgana and one of brasato.  Both were just incredible.  We all laughed and talked and talked and talked.  There's something to be said for my having worked with these folks for about a dozen years.  We've gotten to be good friends with my colleagues and their spouses.  Actually, these folks are more like family.  Here are a couple of snapshots from the two evenings:

Toni - keeps us all in line!

Tom and Joyce

Brad and Carmen brought the midgets.  We figure about 10 kids had to give up their cute because these two are do darned cute!  (And, they're great kids too!)

Melissa, Tony and Kelly.  Tony's one of our newer members and what a wonderful addition he is!

Ken.  We missed seeing his wife, Georgia.  She's got one wicked sense of humor, doesn't she, Kenny Seven?

Charlie.  Rumor has it that Ellen was in Florida attending an embroidery conferene.  She was sorely missed!

Josh and Tracy and one of their sons.  This one has a GREAT handshake for a young man.

Me with our fearless leader, Joe

And, last but certainly not least, me with my sweetie, Connie

Ok, so that's how I spent my weekend.  Eating, drinking and working.  No complaints here.  But I wasn't interested in a complicated or heavy meal Sunday evening.  We'd gotten home just in time to start a really bad year for our Colts and by the time that debacle was over, I was ready for a nice relaxing meal.  I know Monday is going to be a very late day since my last appointment in my Columbus office doesn't even start until 5:00.  Then, I've got an hour drive home.  That meant it'd be a very smart thing to have dinner ready for Connie to pop in the oven when I'm on my way home.  I had a package of ground turkey in the refrigerator with a sell by date of 9/12/11.  I'd read a recipe for turkey meatloaf with feta and sundried tomatoes.  That'd be perfect to make ahead for Monday.  And, that left a pound of ground turkey for this evening.  Great excuse to dig into Burgers by Paul Gayler.  This is a cookbook that's got every kind of meat imaginable in burger form.  Including some great turkey burgers.  We settled on the turkey burgers with brie, bacon and a cranberry relish. 

What did we think?  Totally delicious.  I left the bread out of the equation and am very glad I did.  It would've been superfluous.  I added a bit of oil and vinegar dressing to the lettuce under the burger.  That was a great addition.  The burger was moist and flavorful.  The brie and bacon married perfectly.  And, the cranberry relish was great.  This is one we'll make again!

Turkey Burgers with Brie, Bacon and Cranberry Relish


for the Cranberry Relish:
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries (I freeze bags of them when they're in season)
1/3 c sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated (Gaia was all I had so that's what I used)
1/2 c orange juice
1 t green peppercorns
1 T white wine vinegar

for the burgers:
1 lb ground turkey
1 T dijon mustard
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
1 T olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 t fresh thyme leaves
2 slices bacon (I used our home-smoked bacon)
6 thin slices brie cheese
2 big handfuls of fresh greens, dressed with oil and vinegar if you like


for the Cranberry Relish:

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. 

Simmer it slowly until the cranberries start to pop.  Take a potato masher and smoosh all the cranberries.  Continue to simmer until the relish has reached a jam-like consistency.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

for the burgers:

Saute the shallot, garlic and thyme in the olive oil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Gently mix the ground turkey, dijon mustard, parsley and shallot mixture.  Form into two burgers. 

You can either grill the burgers (kind of messy when you get to the cheese part) or pan fry them. 

When they've reached an internal temperature of about 160 degrees, put the cooked bacon and slices of brie on top. 

Cover the skillet and steam the burgers so the cheese will melt.  To serve, put a handful of greens on a dinner plate.  Top the greens with a burger then a dollop of the cranberry relish. 

adapted from Burgers by Paul Gayler