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.  

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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Freezer Finds | Chicken Patties avec Rib Meat

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Sunday has become my “me” day. Household chores that I delayed for a week and vigorous napping are always on the agenda. I’ve added in yoga and grocery shopping. If whether permits I’ll grill enough meat to last through the week.

This weekend I started clearing space in the freezer after battling the avalanche of foil-wrapped mystery meats. In the process I found some pre-made chicken patties i’d forgotten about.

I love these chicken patties. I get them at aldi for $2/box. They are a quick dinner and a better option than fast food. They aren’t the healthiest option but sometimes you have a hankering for fried chicken with that coveted rib meat. You can slice them and add to salads. Or jazz them up with a BBQ dressing. Tonight I made two. The first had red onion, romaine and some pesto sauce. The next bun was shellacked with whole grain mustard.

As a side, I sautéed sweet potato I. Olive oil and added some cinnamon.

Dinner in 10 minutes. And it’s probably already in your freezer.

What’s your best freezer find/creation?

Make Trader Joe’s Your Sous Chef

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It’s good to be known for something.

I’m known for a few things: cooking, an insatiable appetite for Mexican food and being funny.

At least that’s what people tell me to my face. I suspect that’s so they get invited to future dinner parties and taco excursions.

Once a month I have board meetings for my alma mater. Sometimes I attend and others I’ll skip the commute into the city and join remotely. I’ve been working later into the night recently (not as a gigolo) and can’t make it downtown in time to fraternize. So tonight in my rear view mirror I got to see a man vigorously drumming with drum sticks on his steering wheel. Once home, I made a quick pasta sauce from scratch to accompany a package of pesto tortellini from Trader Joe’s.

Bachelor Tip: Trader Joe’s and pre-made food can be your friend.

Ravioli or tortellini make really quick dinners. If you’re watching your carb intake, I’m sorry you aren’t blessed with my metabolism. But like all things in life, moderation. Add a salad or some grilled veggies to substitute for eating all the carbs in the pasta.

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This sauce was inspired mostly by America’s Test Kitchen. They have yet to lead me astray in the kitchen. I also implicitly trust a man in a bow-tie.

Quick Marinara Sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 can organic, whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 mini sweet peppers, sliced in rings or diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 3-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 splash of vodka (chef’s choice if you want a shot for yourself, too)
  • Sprinkling of oregano

Process

  1. Put your phone on mute for your conference call.
  2. Heat skillet on medium heat.
  3. Cut up all the veggies.
  4. Add tsp olive oil to hot pan.
  5. Add onions and carrots to pan. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Add butter.
  7. Stir.
  8. Add mushrooms, stir. Add garlic.
  9. Add can of tomatoes. Mash with the back of a spoon. Or you can also use crushed tomatoes, if you don’t feel like the hulk tonight.
  10. Keep stirring and smashing. Add a splash of vodka or wine. Alcohol always adds more depth of flavor to sauces.

Total cook time was about 30 minutes before it thickened and the raw taste was cooked out of the tomatoes. Be sure to add crushed red pepper flakes if you like a little heat in your sauce.

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Yes, and… A Guide to Improvising Dinner

 

SCENE: You have worked through lunch and feasted on feelings. The last hour was a struggle. You are running on fumes. After looking at BuzzFeed food articles you started making a list of what food each co-worker resembles.

Now you’re on your way home…in a rocket car… and decide to stay strong. No fast food for you. Because you’re in a rocket car.

After tuck-and-rolling out of the rocket car, you get back to your kitchen. Magically, groceries are not only in your fridge, but they are also still fresh.

In an ideal world, the dinner would be waiting for you on the table. If one of these women I have met would support me in the lifestyle i’m accustomed, this would be their reality. Some day…

Cooking and improv are two of my favorite things. Perhaps the improvisational elements of cooking are part of the allure. The other is sharing food with people also leads to sharing stories.

Last night’s supper was a mish-mosh (culinary term) of ingredients I had. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a good cook is the ability to combine flavors. Italian food tends to have some core ingredients and herbs: garlic, tomatoes, onions, cheese, basil. Mexican cuisine tends to rely on some of the same ingredients, but more cumin and peppers.

The great chefs tend to embark on their own path of flavors and herbs; pairing unconventional items.

One of the worst dishes I ever made was a stuffed pork chop. It looked good, but I deviated from the recipe because I didn’t have all the ingredients. It had apples inside. They were cut too big and subsequently didn’t cook. Did I still eat it? Of course. I spent good money on those pork chops and I was in college. Leave no meal behind!

With experience you’ll learn which vegetables and herbs/spices to add to dishes. When in doubt, experiment. I followed recipes for a while to get an idea of what goes well together. Eventually, you’ll start asking yourself “and what else can I put in this?” Once that happens, your next step will be to the psychologist’s office. When talking to yourself, it’s best to do in public, especially on public transit.

Pesto, Pronto

I bought a jar of pesto sauce. Huge helper, especially when everything has died in the tundra that is Chicago.

Remove the sausage from the casing and saute the Italian sausage for 4-5 minutes.

Add chopped bell pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms. Then I ripped some kale and tossed that in. Get your vitamins! The sausage has to cook for 10-15 minutes. Removing it from the casing makes it cook faster. Meanwhile, I had pasta water coming to a boil in a separate pot.

From there, cook the pasta, drain, add sauce. Then add in the sausage and veggies mix. Shave or sprinkle some cheese on top.

Photograph and post on all the cougar dating sites. Wait for your phone to start lighting up like a [your joke here].