Bacon Pesto Turkey Burgers

pesto turkey burger

Here’s a quick pesto turkey burger recipe with pesto and bacon. What more could you want? Two of them is the correct answer.

I’ve been under the weather the past few days. According to Timehop, I normally get sick around this time of year. I have tired of canned sodium and wanted to use this ground turkey before it went bad and I hated myself for wasting $4.

So, here’s what you need: cast iron skillet. Check out my other love notes to cast iron skillets.

I started by frying up bacon. While that fries and renders, mix an egg and finely chopped onion with the turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Turkey is super lean so you need to add fat, otherwise you’ll end up with what tastes like dry toast. I add breadcrumbs to help bind the burgers together. Think of them as a mini meatloaf.  Get in there with your hands and be sure to wash them when you’re done. (Your hands. Not the burgers.)

Form patties. Remove the bacon. Place the turkey burger patties into the bacon fat. Unlike beef, you need to cook turkey until it’s completely done. Medium rare isnt a thing with turkey. And there’s nothing manly about food poisoning.

Typically, I cook turkey burgers for close to 10 minutes total. Once the meat is done, remove them to a paper towel and add in onions and mushrooms to the pan. They’ll pick up the flavors and help clean the pan. Think of it as cast iron magic.

Toast a bun. Slather on some pesto. I like a pre-made can from Aldi. Place burger on bun. Top with onions, mushrooms and bacon.

Enjoy knowing you don’t have to clean a pan.  

Best Breakfast Pizza | Recipe

breakfast, pizza, brunch, homemade, recipe

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We’ve all done it. No shame. We’ve eaten leftover pizza for breakfast. While this dish takes a bit more work than foraging in your fridge, you’ll be rewarded with a sensational and fresh breakfast.

Turn on your oven to 350 degrees.

To start, I made my own hash browns after frying up some bacon. You could also use frozen hash browns to cut down the prep time. To make your own, shred 3 potatoes. I recently purchased a KitchenAid Mandoline. That helps speed up the job. I found it tough to use the mandoline with the potatoes. It worked great on softer veggies, but struggled against firm potatoes.

Once the hash browns were cooked–about 15 minutes–I removed them from the pan and added onions and green pepper. Saute those for a few minutes and remove to a bowl. Then I whipped 4 eggs with a touch of water.

Return the taters to the skillet and add the eggs.

Return the veggies and bacon. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle in your favorite cheese. I had sliced american that I put on top.

Put the skillet in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Slice it up and enjoy.

breakfast, pizza, bacon, brunch, recipe

Simple Bacon Pesto Pasta | 5 Ingredient Recipe

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Here’s a super simple recipe for a quick dinner. Five ingredients and it’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes.

This should serve four. I ate it all. I have a problem saying no to delicious pasta.

What you need:

1 pound of your favorite pasta
4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 Handfuls of cherry tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 Handful of fresh basil

Start a big pot of water to boil. Should take about 10 minutes to boil. Add salt to the boiling water. Then add noodles.

Cut bacon and add to a separate frying pan over medium heat.

After 5 minutes, add tomatoes to bacon. Once the bacon looks finished, add two cloves of finely chopped garlic.

Pasta should be done after 10 minutes. Drain and add pasta to bacon with ripped leaves of fresh pasta.

Add some freshly ground pepper and a dash of crushed red pepper for a little extra zip.

It’s that easy! The bacon fat and exploded tomatoes make their own sauce that clings to the noodles.

Buon appetito.

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Sopa de Elote Dip Recipe | Bacon Takedown Showdown

It isn’t every day your food is featured in Thrillist for Best Bacon dishes.

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking competitions. I swear them off, but not long after I get the invite, I am signed up and scouring recipes for inspiration.

The latest was the fifth annual bacon takedown. I eat bacon once or twice a year, so I’m by no means a connoisseur. Cycling through dishes I’ve perfected that include bacon, I considered stuffin muffins and carbonara. The first is ingredient and labor intensive. The latter has poor reheat value. After vetoing these dishes I started questioning why I signed up.

Then I got my idea: Mexican corn.

I started it as a chowder soup. Serving soup samples is tedious. Know what isn’t? Making it a dip.

Of course you made something with tortilla chips.

The addictive element of competitions is you get instant feedback from people who aren’t your family or friends. They have no obligation to say your food is good. And they definitely don’t have to come back four times for another taste.

The good news: everyone seemed to love the dip.

The bad news: I didn’t win. Always a bridesmaid…

Continue reading Sopa de Elote Dip Recipe | Bacon Takedown Showdown

Spaghetti Carbonara | First Attempt

pasta, spaghetti, carbonara, bacon, dinner, italian

Spaghetti Carbonara. Creamy. Salty. Perfectly cooked pasta. It was a thing of beauty when I ate it in Trastevere, outside of Roma. So, good that my latest quest is to master it. Or come as close as I can to the inspiration dish. To the internet to read up on different recipes and tips! After reading Mario’s recipe, America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe and the array of takes on The Kitchn, I settled on the “foolproof” option from Chris Kimball and Co. With basket in hand I wandered the three aisles at Trader Joes. I grabbed pecorino and organic spaghetti from whole durum semolina. All the recipes stressed the importance of quality ingredients, especially when there are only four. I wasn’t pleased with the bacon offerings and lack of pancetta, so I walked to TJ’s unknown sister: Aldi. They had thick cut applewood bacon and some salad fixins. Last night’s dinner was of the traveling variety. I hadn’t spent bro time with my buddy in a while and I wanted to test run this dish before serving it for the masses. So I cooked at his place. He had cage free, organic eggs. 20140617-124515-45915128.jpg

They were so fresh the package gave the name of the chicken.

I fully expected one of the eggs to hatch. Step one is to fry up the bacon/pancetta. The quantity of bacon strips was cut off by the printer, so I guessed that the number was a 3. Turns out it was an 8. So my creation was lighter on the salty greatness. 20140617-124514-45914782.jpg While the bacon cooked, I shredded the cheese to combine with the eggs. I also started the half pot of water to boil for the spaghetti. 20140617-124515-45915453.jpg This dish comes down to timing. None of the steps are that time consuming or difficult. ATK’s procedure is a good one to follow as a starting point.

  • Start the bacon.
  • Then the water.
  • Mix the cheese, eggs, salt & pepper.
  • Place pasta in salted water once boiling.
  • Use a spoon to remove the bacon and place on a paper towel to drain some of the fat. Save the fat! (I want a t-shirt that says that.)
  • Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Drain pasta.
  • Quickly dump hot spaghetti into egg/cheese/bacon fat/seasoning mixture.
  • Add bacon to bowl.
  • Toss.
  • FEAST!

This dish wasn’t as good as the Italian inspiration dish, but I have some thoughts on the next batch: two whole eggs, two yolks. That may create a texture closer to the original. Or maybe I should just go back for another taste. 20140617-124516-45916255.jpg

Sins against Italy – Carbonara

20131124-183313.jpgThe temperature in Chicago this morning was in the single digits. This isn’t OK. After I returned from California a few months ago, I realized that living in Chicago is a choice. I’ve deemed it a bad choice.

Nevertheless, cold weather is good for a few things:

  • Selling clothes
  • Killing off germs
  • Exposing people’s true self. Everyone’s nice when it’s 78 and sunny, but few people are nice in an arctic tundra.
  • Justifying eating more carbs

To the dismay of my female friends, I’ve yet–and hopefully never–to have any issues with carbs and gaining weight. I credit my Italian ancestry for this evolutionary advantage.

Tonight’s dinner was my first attempt at the Italian classic, pasta carbonara. I rarely have bacon in the house, so almost every dish I’ve made this past week has included a few strips. You may be asking yourself, “Why does he still have bacon left?” Valid question, but you’re the one talking to yourself.

This is often described as one of the easiest dishes in the Italian cookbook. None of the techniques required are difficult, nor does this take a lot of time. But it does require cheese–Parmesan or Pecorino. I had neither in the house and it’s too damn cold to go out again. Thusly, committing one of the gravest of sins for an Italian. I fear that if my ancestors saw the cheese-less atrocity tonight, they’ll curse me with pots of water that will never boil.

Here’s the rundown:

Serves 2-4, depending if anyone is hangry.

  • 1lb pasta, typically spaghetti or farfalle. I had rigatoni and campanelle
  • 2-4 strips of bacon, cut into squares (this is why I still have bacon)
  • handful or two of frozen peas
  • 4-6 kale leaves (cleaning out the fridge)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese. Other recipes call for cheese and cream/milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp of bread crumbs
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Salt/pepper
  1. Cook the pasta as directed.
  2. In a frying pan, cook the bacon. Once it’s getting crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and place onto a paper towel. Bikini season may seem far away, but so will your toes if you eat a quart of bacon fat.
  3. Add the kale and garlic to the frying pan/bacon grease. Let cook on low for 3 minutes.
  4. The pasta should be done by now (~10 minutes). Drain it and save a half cup of pasta water.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, separate the egg yolks from the rest of the eggs. I’ll have to post a video of this at some point too. There are also lil gadgets you can use. Or you can use your manos. Beat the yolks with the cheese. Add the drained pasta to the yolks/cheese. Add the bacon and kale. Top with some bread crumbs and salt/pepper.
  6. Take a pic and post on instagram with the #bachelorbasics.