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Turkey Burger – Christine Lakin
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Turkey Burger

Full disclosure, I am a foodie. My friend Heather actually calls me “foodie” because when we met (doing a musical version of “Happy Days the Musical”) we used to plan where we were going for food between shows before it was even lunch time. It was all we could think about. Not sure what that says about us as actresses but I know what it says about us as food people.

Yes I tend to eat on the healthy side but I don’t shy away from dairy, gluten, butter or carbs. I’m lucky I don’t have allergies many people do so most of my recipes do include these things, although I occasionally alter them because I have so many friends I end up cooking for who do have restrictions.

I believe in whole food. I shop at regular grocery stores but I stick to the exterior sections — fresh produce, bakery, deli and meats. I but organic when I can but I’m not crazy about everything. My daughter eats a lot of fruit and organic chicken dogs and smoothies but yes, we occasionally have that good ole’ Mac and Cheese from the box. And no I can’t resist it either.

It’s more work to cook for yourself and the family and I admit, I don’t always feel like it (like tonight when I bought an already roasted chicken and just made sweet potatoes and salad). But I do believe food is culture. I grew up sitting around a dinner table talking to my folks. Sharing a meal and giving thanks for it. I hope to instill that in my daughter and teach her the value in cooking and feeding herself with ingredients she can pronounce.

So, without any further adieu, the best turkey burgers you’ll ever have….

Turkey Burgers with Bodacious Rub and Spicy Cabbage slaw

Ingredients:

1 Lb ground turkey
1 TBS Jim Lakin’s Bodacious Rub (recipe below) – or any seasoning you prefer
1/4 cup salsa (as spicy as you like)
2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 TBS mayonnaise or Veganaise
1 1/2 Tsp. Sirracha (or to taste)
1 1/2 lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
Cheddar or Jalapeño jack cheese slices
Good quality buns or Ciabatta rolls
1 avocado

Directions:

Mix ground turkey with salsa. This cures the meat and will be the thing that locks in those juices.  Form into 4 inch thick patties.
Season each side with a pinch of salt and pepper and some of Jim’s Bodacious Rub (or seasoning of your choice).

Heat a skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat and add 2 TBS of olive oil.  When the pan is hot, add the patties. *This is important: do not touch them for three minutes. They are locking in juices!  After 3 minutes, flip the patties, reduce heat to medium and cover for roughly 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the slaw. In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, Sirracha and lemon juice and whisk.  Add the cabbage and mix to combine.
Once juices run clear, the burgers are done.  Toast the buns with a slice of cheese (or add to the burgers the pan) add the patty, slaw and a few slices of avocado (because Im avocado obsessed).  Serves 4.

*Jim’s Bodacious Rub

Directions

This is my dad’s recipe, which I keep in a mason jar in my pantry.  It’s delicious on roasted chicken, burgers, ribs, steak, brisket, BBQ, etc.  He was kind enough to share it and I hope you get as much use out of it as I do.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
1/4 cup chili powder
2 TBS ground red pepper
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup cracked black pepper

Mix well and place in a sealed jar.  Store in a cool, dark place.

Sweet Potato Rounds

I love fries. These are a healthier alternative and I decided to try them in rounds to mix it up. Alexia brand also makes some good frozen options if you want to skip this step.

Ingredients:

4 large sweet potatoes
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
corn starch (optional)

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 425. Peel and cut the potatoes into half inch thick rounds. Try to keep them as evenly as possible.  Dump them in a bowl and sprinkle with corn starch (if using – will help them crisp but it’s not imperative). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and spices.  Coat evenly.

Arrange the rounds on large non stick baking sheets (no aluminum) so they don’t overlap.  Bake for 15 minutes and flip.  Bake for another 10-15 or until they look a bit matte and puffed up.  Don’t worry if the edges start to burn – they will taste more caramelized than burnt.

Christine Lakin

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