Friday, January 16, 2009

Inside-Out Turkey Bacon Cheeseburgers with Oven O-Rings

Friday, January 16, 2009

I was quite the thrifty housewife over the past two weeks-I made a detailed grocery list, paper-clipped all my receipts to the list so that I could track my expenses, and cut out coupons from our weekly Safeway newspaper inserts. I feel that it's always better to make as few trips as possible, especially when trying to save money. While I'm on the subject, here's another good piece of grocery shopping advice: don't go when hungry! I can't tell you how many times I've ended up with a cart full of various dark chocolate treats, different kinds of string cheese or a combination of Golden Grahams and Lucky Charms.

Alright, I shall cease my ruminations about grocery shopping and get to my topic at hand: the delicious dinner that I made this evening. I should mention that the reason why I started on that note was that I found an amazing deal on ground turkey in my coupon search-$2.50 for a 20 ounce package! I came to an appreciation for ground turkey only recently, mostly because I'm a beef girl all the way-I grew up on a ranch, after all! However, ground turkey is slightly less fatty (than ground sirloin, anyway), so I can make burgers and such more often if I throw it in the mix every once in a while.

Our dinner was great, and except for the dredging of the onion rings, was quick and easy to prepare. I'll be making those again, by the way! Spicy, crispy, and not terribly unhealthy! By the way, I used regular bacon instead of turkey bacon. I already had bacon on hand, so I saved a bit more money, which likely made my dinner even more flavorful.

Inside-Out Turkey Bacon Cheeseburgers with Oven O-Rings
from Yum-O, the Family Cookbook, by Rachael Ray

6 slices turkey bacon, chopped (I used regular bacon)
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon smoked chipotle powder or 2 teaspoons chili powder (I used the chipotle, and it gave them a great spicy kick!)
all-purpose flour, for dredging, about 1 cup
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 pounds ground turkey breast
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard (I only used about a tablespoon)
3/4 cup shredded or crumbled sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 head of redleaf or other lettuce, chopped (I used spinach)
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
4 kosher dill pickles, chopped (I wasn't too concerned with the condiments, so I just used what I had on hand, which was one tiny tomato and a bag of spinach)

1. Preheat the oven to 425.
2. Arrange the bacon in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. Slowly crisp up the bacon, cooking for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the bacon from the skillet and, when cool, chop. Add the EVOO to the remaining drippings and set aside.
4. While the bacon is crisping, combine the cornmeal and chipotle powder in a shallow bowl. Set up two more shallow bowls, filling one with the flour and the other with the buttermilk. Dip the onion rings in the buttermilk, then dredge the rings in the flour, tossing them lightly in your hands to remove the excess. Dip them once again in the buttermilk, and finally coat them fully with the cornmeal mixture. Place the dredged rings on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy, 15 to 18 minutes.
5. While the onion rings are baking, place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix in the mustard. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a burger, making a well in the center. Fill the well of each with one quarter of the crisp bacon pieces and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Carefully form the burger around the cheese and bacon filling, making sure the filling is completely covered. Return the skillet you cooked the bacon in to medium-high heat. Add the burger patties to the hot skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the burgers for 5-6 minutes longer, turning occasionally. Do not press down on the burgers as they cook.
6. Serve each burger on a bed of lettuce topped with sliced tomato, chopped pickles, and a few oven o-rings (My husband prefers a bun to a bed of lettuce, so I happily obliged him).

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