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in my mouth: figurative tailgating and toast love

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College football season is officially in session.  Last week, I celebrated by visiting Auburn with my family and friends.  It’s my dad’s alma mater, and he couldn’t possibly be any prouder.

From here till Thanksgiving, I can pretty much count on watching some SEC game every Saturday.  Auburn threw me for a bit of a loop, playing on Thursday.  Luckily, they defeated Miss State, but not without some close calls.  I spent much of the game on the edge of my couch, directing Jonathan to stand in certain areas of the room.  For instance, if he was standing by the bookcase when we scored, but then he was in the kitchen and we fumbled, I’d force him to wait by the bookcase till Auburn managed to get their shit together.  Superstitious?  Maybe.  But we won 🙂

Anyway, I digress.  What I put in my mouth.  Craig and I were on our own for watching the Alabama vs. Penn State game.  (BTW:  I hate Alabama.  Just FYI.)  I had some veggies I needed to use up, and I’d been itching to make some turkey burgers.  Jonathan has these dinner rolls he’d been trying to force on us for the past several weeks, so I decided to combine the two and make turkey burger sliders.

For the burgers, I used extra lean Jennie-O turkey, which helped for a low-calorie and low-fat burger.  Don’t be fooled, though:  These had PLENTY of flavor.  I’ve made them before, but I tried a few new twists that I think made all the difference.

Note:  There aren’t a lot of prep pictures, but trust me, the gorgeous end result will help you to forgive me.

Turkey Garden Burgers (adapted from a Quaker Oats recipe)

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
¾ cup diced red and/or green bell pepper
½ to ¾ cup grated zucchini
½ to ¾ cup onion
a handful or so grated carrots
½ cup ketchup
1 cup oats
2 egg whites

First, de-seed and chop the red and green bell pepper.  (You won’t use all of it.)  You’ll need about ¾ cup altogether.  Set aside.

Grate a small to medium-size zucchini.  Sprinkle with a little salt and let it drain in a colander (there’s a LOT of water in that skinny veggie).

Finely chop about half of a small onion, or between ½ and ¾ cup, depending on how onion-y you want the burgers.

In a large bowl, mix together the meat with all the veggies.  Mix in the ketchup and the oats, adding the egg whites last.  (These work as a binder.  Very important!)

it's like a festival in a bowl!

Patty the burgers out to the size you want them to be.  Note:  I thought that they would shrink up, like regular burgers are wont to do.  Not so, friend.  These maintained their shape and size. (TWSS)  I blame the lack of fat.  We made eight patties, but I think we could have gotten away with maybe 10-12 at a smaller size.

To cook them, spray down your grill (be it a large outdoor one or of the George Foreman variety).  This is necessary so that they won’t stick.  Cook till the meat is nice and orange-y with sexy grill marks.

While the burgers cook, slice and toast some small dinner rolls.  Be careful with the knife.  They move fast—I learned that after I nipped my finger.

I thought it looked a little like a mouth, so I went with it.

hullo!

On the side, we had some of buffalo chicken dip that Craig whipped up.  (Recipe later.)

And voila!  Aren’t they gorgeous?

And the mouth party didn’t stop there.  For brunch on Sunday, one of my favorites:  French toast.

On the side, we made some (unpictured) hash browns with diced up red skinned potatoes.  I tossed them lightly in some olive oil, then spread them out on a pan covered with parchment paper, then dusted them with crushed rosemary and a little salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Give them a stir, and leave them be for another 10 minutes or some.  Take them out when they’re nice and brown.  (Ie, before they burn.)

For the French toast:  I used one egg for every two slices.  Crack and scramble one egg, then add in a splash each of milk and vanilla, add in a generous sprinkling of cinnamon, along with some sugar and pinch of salt.  Dunk each slice, flipping to coat both sides.

Cook in a pre-heated skillet (over medium heat) till toasty and brown, flipping to cook the other side.

The pictures from this weekend weren’t nearly as beautiful as some French toast I made a few weeks ago, so I’ll show you those instead 🙂 It still tasted just as yummy! On this particular day, I had fresh blueberries on top, along with some syrup.

What did you eat this weekend?

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