Thursday, August 30, 2012

Turkey Patty Melts

I know this may sound un-American, but I've never been much for turkey, even on Thanksgiving (although I highly recommend deep frying a turkey, if only just for the sheer thrill of it). The only exceptions so far seem to be turkey meatballs and turkey patties (which, when it comes down to it, are basically smushed turkey meatballs). Add some cheese, caramelized onions and toasty rye bread and I'm enjoying turkey. (Cue patriotic music .) 

Yield: 4 servings

Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large, yellow onions, 1/4-inch slices
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

Turkey Patties:
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil

8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices light rye
4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
yellow mustard, for serving

1.      Caramelized Onions: Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil, let the butter mel,t and then add in the onions and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low.
2.      Let the onions sweat, steam and soften for 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and let the onions cook for about an hour, checking on the onions frequently and stirring.
3.      Once the onions are fully caramelized, and a deep golden color, add the sherry and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the thyme, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
4.      Turkey Patties: In a large bowl, combine the turkey, ricotta, sage, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Divide into 4 equal patties and press them into 1/4-inch-thin rounds.
5.      Heat a cast-iron griddle pan to medium-high heat.
6.      Add the canola oil and sear the patties on the first side until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through.
7.      For the sandwich build: Place a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece of bread, then a turkey burger, followed by about 1/4 cup caramelized onions. Place the top piece of bread on and then butter each side of the sandwich.
8.      Griddle each side over medium heat until golden, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. If you have a metal bowl, cover the sandwiches so they steam a bit and the cheese will melt faster. Serve with good ol' yellow mustard.

from Jeff Mauro
raw onions
adding sherry to caramelized onions
adding thyme
turkey patty ingredients
raw turkey patties
cooking the turkey patties
cooked turkey patties
turkey patty on rye and swiss cheese
adding caramelized onions
buttering the bread

I did cover it with a metal bowl, but all the
photos came out with a hideous reflection
of me in them (and no, you can't see any).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Key Lime Pie with Passion Fruit Coulis and Huckleberry Compote

This is a terrific key lime pie. The filling is tart, sweet and creamy. The crust is made of nuts and graham crackers (it's so good, you could eat it straight, like a cookie). My only mistake was using a deep dish pan. The filling only went about half way up. The crust, on the other hand, went all the way up and loomed over the sides like a fortress wall, daring the filling to try and escape from its graham cracker prison. Then I had the brilliant idea to fill in all that empty space with whipped cream. So I whipped some cream, filled my pastry bag and then realized I didn't have enough. So I ended up piping as many large rosettes as I could, but I didn't like the way it looked. By then I was totally irritated and didn't bother artfully arranging the compote or coulis. I just slopped them both on with disgust and ate some. It was then I realized how good this pie is and I started to cheer up a little. But I admit, I brushed off the coulis and compote. Because while they were both very good on their own, I felt like it was too many competing flavors and I just wanted my key lime to shine. But I left them in the recipe for anyone who is interested. Oh, and I reduced the crust ingredients so it should fit a standard size pan now (I think).

Makes 8 servings

16 oz. fresh wild huckleberries or wild Maine blueberries (or frozen wild blueberries)
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3/4 cup frozen passion fruit puree,* thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds
1/4 cup unsalted roasted, shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons sugar
8 graham crackers
large pinch of salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice or regular lime juice

whipped cream for garnish

*Available at some specialty foods stores and online from or

1.      Compote: Combine huckleberries and sugar in medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Discard vanilla bean before serving.
2.      Coulis: Combine passion fruit puree and sugar in heavy small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Transfer coulis to bowl and refrigerate until cold. Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated. Discard vanilla bean before using.
3.      Crust: Heat oven to 350° F. Combine the almonds, pistachios and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped (don’t over process or they will turn into nut butter). Add the graham crackers and salt. Pulse until thoroughly combined. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of a standard 9-inch glass pie dish (not deep dish). Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool crust completely. Maintain oven temperature.
4.      Filling: Whisk sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Add lime juice and whisk until blended. Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake pie until filling is set, about 18 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate pie overnight.
5.      Cut pie into wedges. Spoon huckleberry compote on top. Garnish with dollop of whipped cream. Drizzle passion fruit coulis around and serve.

slightly adapted (crust only) from Bon Appétit, September 2006 by Hedy Goldsmith
nuts and sugar

The sugar soaks up the nut oil so it doesn't turn into
nut butter (although it will if you process it too much).
finely chopped nuts
adding graham crackers and salt
butter added
in the way too big deep dish pan
key limes
key lime juice
egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk
adding key lime juice
pouring in the filling

Right about now is when I realized I was in trouble.
half full

Sounds optimistic, but it's not.

As you can see, key lime filling doesn't rise. I already
knew that, so I was already depressed two photos ago.
piping rosettes

Right about now I realized I didn't have enough cream.
not fitting the vision in my head at all
blueberries and sugar

I couldn't find wild huckleberries (can anybody?),
so I used blueberries. I also didn't have any vanilla
beans handy, so I used a little vanilla extract
(same goes for the passion fruit coulis).
passion fruit puree and sugar

I used Goya frozen passion fruit pulp
(available in many supermarkets).
blueberry compote
passion fruit coulis
key lime pie

key lime pie with passion fruit coulis & blueberry compote