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.