Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

Welcome back to The Monday Muffin! I’m pretty excited to share this one, since I’ve not been so excited about a muffin since we discovered Mizz Nezz’s Banana Muffins. This one throws its hat into the ring for the title of Greatest Muffin Ever and has a shot at taking it home.

There’s no sugar or streusel topping for this muffin and you won’t miss it. The cake has the perfect amount of sweetness and the blueberries bring a delectable burst of freshness. The cinnamon goes very well with the blueberries — not to mention your house will smell incredible while the muffins are baking.

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Light & Healthy Cheese & Spinach Lasagna

I suppose the best way of starting this out wouldn’t be by admitting that I’m not a huge fan of spinach and cheese lasagna. Most of the time, it comes across as a mushy mess in my mouth, and I’m put off by the texture. I typically crave lasagnas with a little more stability to their structure. And in the case of my new cooking project, exploring the entirety of ATK’s Light and Healthy book… Well, I found the same thing to be true. However, I really enjoyed the taste and, put on a plate next to a cool, crisp salad and some crunchy garlic bread, I liked it.

Spinach & Cheese Lasagna

What brought this dish to the home plate was the addition of shredded Fontina. Even though I couldn’t get a decent Fontina (I could only find a local brand – no Italian), the taste was still there. And to be honest, I’m not a big fan of pungent cheeses so maybe that’s why I liked it so much.

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Light & Healthy Spaghetti Carbonara

Yesterday, I announced that I was doing a cookbook challenge — ATK’s Light & Healthy 2010, cover to cover. And I meant every word.

Let’s dig into the cover recipe, Spaghetti Carbonara!

Carbonara is a rich and heavy dish. No question. The essential players that make up the dish are spaghetti and bacon smothered in a cream and grated Parmesan sauce, then beaten eggs are poured into it for a rich and creamy decadence that leaves you feeling happy but sluggish afterward. On their own and in mass quantities, the ingredients aren’t the best for you, let alone poured together. Typically, Carbonara recipes hover around 600 calories and 28 grams of fat per serving. And don’t even get me started on the cholesterol — around 150mg. Yikes.

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New Year, New Food Challenge

Did you miss us?

After a long hiatus, we’re back and badder than ever. Our knives are sharpened and kitchens ready to go. Really. I reorganized it this weekend.

Long time AwK readers will know of our undying love for America’s Test Kitchen and its Cook’s Illustrated brand. So, it should come as no surprise to you that we’re bringing the site back with an ATK cookbook challenge:

ATK’s Light & Healthy 2010: We’re cooking our way through, one recipe per week.

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James Beard + Barefoot Contessa = Food Love 4Ever (and Crazy Good Spaghetti & Meatballs)

Long ago, before I was serious about cooking and the only food I liked to cook was dessert or pasta, I picked up a funny looking book from the closeout section of a bookstore. At the time I had no idea who James Beard was, I just wanted to buy another cheap book on pasta. After buying it, the book went into a pile and was forgotten. The book: James Beard’s Beard on Pasta.

James Beard, a very important figure in American cooking, has left behind a culinary legacy. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

[Beard] was an eccentric personality who brought French cooking to the American middle and upper classes in the 1950s. Many consider him the father of American-style gourmet cooking. His legacy lives on in twenty books, numerous writings, his own foundation, and his foundation’s annual Beard awards in various culinary genres.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out my closets and came across it. And what a find. This book, now out of print, contains many wonderful little recipes created by James Beard. Many of them can now be found in his later books, such as The New James Beard, but this one is entirely pasta. If you can find a copy, it would be well worth your while to pick it up.

As an aside, I would like everyone to know that the reason I don’t underline my book titles is because I don’t have a button for it, and I don’t know html to provide one. Every time I ask the admin for one he just says, “Just type leet-slash-hacker-backslash-hax-omg!” or something and of course I never remember. So that’s why my formatting is weird.

But back to the book! I’ve made a couple of things from the book so far, including a really fantastic dish that is based on a jelly roll. No joke — you bake it like a souffle then roll, slice it and top with a simple, savory tomato sauce… It’s crazy good. I’ll post it next week. The tomato sauce he accompanies a lot of his dishes with is this fantastically simple sauce with such a wonderful flavor — and it’s basic enough that you can do a lot with it.

So, I decided I would pair it up with some meatballs and serve it atop some whole wheat pasta. For our meatballs, I picked something from the Barefoot Contessa and, in the end, I ended up with a delicious meal that was prepared entirely in 30 minutes.

Novice chefs and those afraid of the device we call a “stove”, take note because this dish is for you.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

So we start with James Beard’s simple tomato sauce.

Simple Tomato Sauce
From James Beard’s Beard on Pasta

1 – 28 ounce can Red Pack whole tomatoes in puree
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried spice of your choice (oregano, thyme, basil, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter

Put tomatoes, diced onion, spice, salt & pepper into a pot. Cook on medium for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally, breaking up the tomatoes. Add butter, stir until melted and incorporated into sauce.

Note: For a smoother sauce, puree in a food processor or blender after the sauce has finished cooking.

That’s really all there is to it. Here’s my sauce in action:

Tomato Sauce Montage

Throw it all in a pot, cook, process with 4 one-second pulses to give it the texture you see in the photo.

To organize my time I put the sauce ingredients on the burner first, then threw together my meatballs. When there was only 15 minutes left in the game, I threw a pot of salted water on and cooked the spaghetti noodles.

Baked Meatballs!
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

1 pound meatloaf mix (combination of veal, pork & beef)
1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs (2 slices, crusts removed)
1/8 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, but try to avoid compacting the meat as much as possible. Form 1-inch balls and place in rows on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.

So again, it’s a little bit of work for a good turnout. Here’s the before and after:

Meatballs

As I’ve said before, I prefer baking meatballs over frying because it’s healthier, it’s easier to cook and clean up, and also because I never have to wonder if the meat is cooked all the way through. Put them in the oven for 25 minutes and “call it good”.

This was a delicious meal, easily prepared and easily tidied up afterward. Plus, there’s just something mentally satisfying about spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe it’s the kid in me, I don’t know, but this made me very happy. Serve with garlic bread and/or salad and feel like a kid again.

Spaghetti & Meatballs 2

The Monday Muffin: Chocolate Cherry Muffin

Last week, I mentioned that I was going to try and be better about the in-process photos. This weekend, I made two amazing things that I can’t wait to share and I definitely concentrated more on the process shots. Unfortunately, with the muffins, that’s kind of all I got. After they came out of the oven and I put them on the cooling rack, I forgot to take that last shot. It doesn’t really matter; you’ll easily understand that they’re muffins by the shot of them looking so perky in the pan.

Chocolate Cherry Muffins in Oven

If you follow my twitter account then you already know the muffin and where it hails from, via the weekly muffin sneak peek: Chocolate Cherry Muffins from Gourmet. They’re a cake-like muffin, rich in chocolate and riddled with chocolate chips and dried cherries. They’re very rich and best served warm, while the chocolate chips are oozing inside the cake. However, when they’re room temperature or chilled from the fridge and served with your hot beverage of choice, you’re not going to be disappointed. The addition of the tart, dried cherries is nice, as it offsets the richness of the chocolate. Without the cherries, the concentrated power of chocolate would be too much.

When melting the chocolate into the butter and milk, be sure to use a double-boiler, or a small pot and a heatproof bowl. Fill the pot with 1 – 2″ water, and set the bowl on top. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. This method of melting chocolate is best as it never scorches your chocolate.

After the chocolate is melted, the mixture will seem a little grainy, even after whisking. Don’t worry, because adding the two eggs will create a glossy texture. There are two ways to add the eggs. The first way is to do it as written, and wait for chocolate mixture to cool prior to adding the eggs. The second way is if you don’t have time to let the mixture cool completely. Don’t add the eggs to the hot mixture. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then whisk the eggs. Take 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture and slowly add it to the eggs, whisking as you pour. Once the egg mixture is thoroughly combined, slowly add it to the chocolate mixture, whisking as you pour. This will keep your eggs from curdling.

Chocolate Cherry Muffin Batter

Chocolate Cherry Muffins
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried sour cherries (4 oz)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat butter and half of chocolate in milk in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until just melted. Remove from heat. Cool 15 minutes. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until combined well. Add chocolate mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate and cherries.

Divide among 12 greased (1/2-cup) muffin cups. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 14 to 18 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 to 10 minutes.

Muffin in tin

These muffins are definitely a guilty pleasure and I like them very much. Comparing them to my all-time favorite banana muffin is a little difficult because these are a completely different animal. They are delicious, and would be a really fun treat to serve in the coming holiday season. Thumbs up!

MoM Sept. ’09 Bon Appetit: Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries

Okay! Welcome back to another segment of our Magazine of the Month: Bon Appetit! This time I am pretty sure I got the month right: September.

Yes, it’s from the year 2009. Smart asses.

My photos for these cookies were few and not that attractive, and it’s too bad because the cookies are quite wonderful. I should have tried harder to do them justice and now I’m kicking myself.

Here’s the Bon Appetit photo. My end result does look almost exactly like the cookies in the professional photo, with the exception of my use of white chips rather than chocolate and my dried cherries were a little smaller.

mare_chocolate_chip_oatmeal_cookies_with_dried_cherries_v
Courtesy of Bon Appetit

I was really pleased with the white chips in the cookie because it gave the cherries a slightly candied flavor. The cookies were thin and crisp and the oatmeal, because it is processed quite finely, lends itself not only to the flavor, but also to a more substantial structure.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries

I’m aiming to do more of those “in process montages” that I’ve put together in the past, where there will be 4 – 8 small photos all lumped together to show the food as it is being made. I should have done that here, because I was really excited at how this dough is put together:

Food processor, baby!

Yes, nearly the entire thing is done right inside the food processor for the comfort, ease, and pleasure of not being irritated that someone sprayed cookie batter onto three walls, ceiling and both cats by unauthorized mixer speeds.

Not that it’s ever happened to me or anything.

Chocolate-Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries
Adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2009
Makes about 4 dozen, Prep: 20 minutes, Total: 1 hour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups dried tart cherries (6 ounces)
1 1/4 cups white chips

Position 1 rack in bottom third and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor 30 seconds. Add eggs; process to blend. Add next 4 ingredients. Using on/off turns, process until oats are coarsely chopped and mixture is blended. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in cherries and white chips.

Spoon batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart (cookies will spread). Bake until tops of cookies are golden brown, rotating baking sheets after 7 minutes, about 12 minutes total. Transfer cookies to rack; let cool. Repeat with remaining batter.

This is a fun cookie – it just tastes fun! – and the addition of cherries is a great twist for the fall season. The oats can be processed as finely as you want, so if you aren’t crazy about the texture of oatmeal then you can keep on pulsing until it’s a texture you like. I love oatmeal, so I didn’t mind having some flakes mixed around. The original recipe calls for baking them for 14 minutes, but I found that to be too long. Take your cookie out when the center is still a little pale, as it will continue to bake on the rack/cookie sheet. Baking them until consistently brown throughout will leave them a little hard after they’ve completely cooled. Despite being a flat, crisp cookie, these seem sturdy enough for travel so I’ll probably drop them in my Christmas cookie gift boxes again this year.

Last year I made a cookie for my Christmas boxes that was similar to this (Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies). But you’ll notice that it’s a soft, risen drop cookie – basically, it’s a chocolate chip cookie with extra goober in it. This new version is a flat, crispy oatmeal cookie, but with extra goober in it.

The point is, drop cookies all pretty much hail from a small handful of recipes and they all have slight variations on each other, with different goobers added. If you can make one drop cookie, you can make them all. No exception.

If you like to bake but don’t want to go through the fuss and mess of putting them together, try this out. It’s two more steps than a purchased cookie dough, and ten times more satisfying.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries 2

Okay, I don’t know the exact ratio of satisfaction – the above number was just a guess. If it’s that important I can get a math nerd on the case.

MM’s Favorite Stir Fry: Chicken & Choose Your Own Veggies with Coconut-Curry Sauce

I make a lot of stir fry. It’s easy, delicious, there’s vegetables in it, it contains rice (my fave) and it’s a one-pot meal. There’s also another personal reason, and that’s because my spouse has to “prepare” his food before he begins to eat it, so if I put something in front of him that’s not scoopable and needs to be cut up into a million pieces (like a steak or a chicken breast), then we’re going to be waiting a while because he cuts everything on his plate first before he eats it. By the time he’s done preparing, I’m finished with my food. So the stir fry is the nice compromise. There’s no cutting, just shoveling delicious mouthfuls of food into one’s mouth.

Coconut Curry Stir Fry 2

This is my current favorite out of my large stir fry repertoire and it comes to us by way of that book I haven’t stopped yammering on about: The Cook’s Illustrated “Best 30 Minute Recipe“. What I like about this is that there’s a generic stir fry recipe that’s accompanied by a table that tells you how long specific vegetables need to be steamed for. This allows for mixing and matching your favorite vegetables. On the next page, five very different sauces are listed that are added to the stir fry. Technically, you could have stir fry all week with basically the same protein and leftover vegetables, all you have to do is mix up the sauces for a totally different result. It’s that pair of pants you wear a couple of days a week, but the different shirts make it seem like a completely different outfit.

If you want to get the vegetable chart and the varied sauces, you’ll have to pick up the book. Here’s my favorite concoction with chicken, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini and snow peas.

Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut-Curry Sauce
Adapted from The Best 30 Minute Recipe

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
1 pounds prepared vegetables: cauliflower, snow peas, julienned zucchini and slivered carrots
1/2 cup water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated, fresh ginger
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Toss chicken with soy sauce. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add protein and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned (3 – 5 minutes). Transfer chicken to a clean bowl.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the stir-fry sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, fish sauce, curry paste, brown sugar and cornstarch until combined.

Add 1 more tablespoon of oil and 1/2 cup water to pan and return to medium high heat until oil is shimmering. Add cauliflower florets to pan, cover and steam for 3 minutes (set your timer — it helps). Carefully remove lid. Add carrots and cover, steaming for 2 minutes. Carefully remove lid. Add snow peas and zucchini and cover, steaming for 30 seconds. Vegetables will be crisp-tender.

Clear center of pan and add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and juices back into pan. Whisk coconut milk mixture to recombine, add to pan and bring to simmer. Cook sauce until thickened 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Words can’t describe how happy this meal makes me. It’s fast and simple, and a delicious way of getting vegetables into your diet. If you’re worried about spice, don’t be, this is pretty mild. Still, if you’re nervous, the red curry paste can be cut back to 1/2 tablespoon and still have a pleasing effect.

Coconut Curry Stir Fry

The Monday Muffin: Spiced Yogurt Muffins

Surprise, surprise — I actually made the deadline for the Monday Muffin segment. After a very long afternoon, I debated whether or not to slack off until about 9:00 last night, when I figured I should just get off my butt and whip up some muffins. They aren’t that time consuming, I was just feeling lazy and I knew no one would be surprised if suddenly they appeared on Tuesday.

But before we get into the Monday Muffin, a little housekeeping: Last week I posted a turkey burger for our Magazine of the Month, Bon Appetit. I must have been having some sort of brain fart because I made the post title “August” when it is, in fact, September and, though CC and I had a good discussion about his choice of magazine, for some reason I thought he wanted to do the August Bon Appetit. After I posted the burger (which was the August cover), he mentioned to me that he wanted to post some roast chicken thing, which was the cover. And that’s when I realized something was wrong because you really can’t have two covers. So, I changed the post title and the recipes link to the September edition of BA, but the burger is from the August edition. This month we’ll just make the MoM a Choose Your Own Bon Appetit Adventure. Go to page 23 to make a burger, go to page 47 to make a chicken, and then go to page 95 for Chef Ramsay to hit you over the head with a cold scallop and then you die.

And now, back to the Monday Muffin: Spiced Yogurt Muffins.

Spiced Yogurt Muffins 2

I was in the mood for something a little different so when I saw this on Food & Wine, I went for it. The spices in the muffin are distinctly a fall flavor and would be perfectly suited to serve for a breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. What surprised me was the texture of this muffin. Because it calls for 1 1/4 cups of lowfat yogurt, the insides are a bit creamy, almost like you’re eating a light pumpkin pie. If you like pumpkin pie and that texture, you’ll be pleased. I baked these with and without paper cups, and the muffins without the cups ended up with a goofy, gummy consistency around the base of the muffin. The muffins that baked in the paper were fine, so bake these in the paper cups. The recipe says it makes 18 muffins, but they come out rather small so just do yourself a favor and put them all into the single muffin tray and bake for a couple of minutes longer.

Spiced Yogurt Muffins 1

Spiced Yogurt Muffins
Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 18 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Lightly spray the liners with vegetable oil spray.

In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of the nutmeg and pulse to blend; transfer to a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, butter, applesauce and vanilla. Fold the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg over the muffins. Bake for 18 minutes, until the muffins are springy; let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Spiced Yogurt Muffins 3

MoM Sept‘09 Bon Appetit: Grilled Turkey Burgers with Monterey Jack & Smoky Aioli

You may have noticed that our September Magazine of the Month is, in fact, no longer available on the shelves, as it is the August edition of Bon Appetit. Fear not fellow food lovers, Bon Appetit gives it up for free on their website!

Bon Appetit September 2009 Table of Contents

And, as they say, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

BA Turkey Burger with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli
Photo courtesy of Nigel Cox, Bon Appetit

My first jump into the magazine was their turkey burger and I’m shamelessly starting with the Bon Appetit photo. Reason being, this burger was absolutely rockin’. My own photos, not so much.

I adapted this burger to my own needs quite a bit because it calls for things I didn’t have, wouldn’t purchase, or wouldn’t eat. First, it called for seeds that are first smoked then finely ground. I had the ground spices already (cumin and coriander) and didn’t want to spend additional money just so I could toast a teaspoon of seeds, so I just used what I had and it came out fine. Cumin was definitely the more prominent, but not overbearing, spice. Funnily enough, this burger also calls for smoked paprika, which my spouse hates, but mixed with the rest of the spices, the lemon juice and olive oil, he didn’t notice. You could also toss the paprika in for some toasting if you wanted to. I was worried about bringing out too much of the paprika and turning my spouse off of the meal, so I didn’t. I snuck it into the aioli like a ninja… albeit, a ninja holding a container of bright red spice, but whatever. It worked and he loved it.

BA Turkey Burgers 2

Per usual, I fixed these bad boys on a George Foreman set to high heat. After it was warmed up enough, I gave the bottom plate a decent brushing of olive oil (about a tablespoon or two) and then set the patties on top. As I’ve said previously, compacting a burger is a really bad idea so I did not close the top. I also doubled the burger size. I used a pound of turkey for two burgers and, as you would imagine, at the end of the burger I experienced a waistband emergency as my midsection reached full capacity and was ready to burst.

But they were good. So very good.

Here’s my very busy sideview photo, with the second burger in the background and some onion rings poking into the picture. After I assembled the burgers and took the photos, it occurred to me that I should have put the tomatoes and spinach leaves on the bottom bun, put the patty and cheese on top, and photographed a lovely, open-faced burger. But by that time I was starving and smell of burgers was prevalent throughout the house, so I said to hell with the pretty photos and started eating. I’m sure you understand.

BA Turkey Burgers 3

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Monterey Jack and Smoky Aioli
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
3 – 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey
4 1/3-inch-thick red onion slices
4 slices white cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns (or something that tastes fun – not plain)
Arugula or baby spinach
Tomato slices

Toast cumin and coriander in small pot over medium-high heat until aromatic, shaking skillet often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool. Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and ground spices in small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into scant 3/4-inch-thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. (Or go the MM route and split that sucker into two patties — wear tight, nonstretch pants at your own risk!) DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or Foreman (high heat, just the way Georgie likes it — yeah, that’s a little weird, I know). Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper.

Toast buns. Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes (or 7 – 8 minutes) for the MM-sized gigantic burgers). Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer. Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula/spinach and tomato slices. Cover burgers with bun tops and serve.

I liked these a lot and will probably make them again. I was, at first, concerned with the turkey drying out because I’ve had bad experiences with cooking ground turkey in the past — typically I choose ground chicken over turkey for that very reason. But it wasn’t a problem. The burgers came out moist and very flavorful, and the scent of the toasted spices was a really nice touch. The turkey makes them very hearty, so I could see myself serving this for a weeknight meal in the middle of winter.

Overall, the time it took to make these was very short — I’d say 30 minutes? Prep time was about 7 minutes to make the aioli and spices, and the rest of the time went to toasting the buns and cooking the beef. By the time my oven was preheated and my onion rings were baked, the burgers were done.

Delicious.

BA Turkey Burgers 4

If you’re anything like my spouse, you will see the above photo and hone in on the bun. Your words will be, “OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THAT WHITE STUFF ON TOP? IS IT FUNGUS? MOLD? DROOL FROM THE EVER-ELUSIVE SASQUATCH?”

It’s flour and the buns were fresh and delicious. Relax and enjoy.