I know, I know, we’re getting really silly with the titles of our posts, but this title is perfect to describe what Alissa and I made this week: turkey burgers!
While most of the things Alissa and I cook together are new adventures, I have previously cooked turkey burgers from scratch. If I’m being honest, I should say that my turkey burger was more like a slightly flatter meatball, but it fit on a bun, and that’s what qualifies it as a burger!
Also, let’s not dance around the elephant in the room. His name is Peanut and he’s jealous that people are dancing while he’s never danced before. He saw Dirty Dancing and dreams of Patrick Swayze holding him above his head. The other, more metaphorical, less fictionalized elephant in the room is that for 14 years, I worked for a very popular quick service restaurant that served burgers. But that wasn’t my first foray into food service. While Alissa has worked in both fashion and writing since she was 16, I was concurrently working in the food service industry from 1998 to 2015.
Please indulge me while I sidetrack for a moment. It all started when I was 13 and was told, “Young man, go to work.” Having so few options, I tried to find a job somewhere between school and home. There’s a particular shopping center in Bellmore, NY that, in 1998, featured a Party City, strip club, Chinese food restaurant, pizzeria, and video game store, in that order. I went door-to-door applying for a job, first at Party City, skipping the strip club, and secondly, the Chinese food restaurant. I never made it to the pizzeria because the small Chinese take-out place just had to have me. I was being paid six dollars an hour to answer the phone, take orders, and daydream. While that job didn’t last very long, three years later, I would apply for what would be my longest job to date.
If you know me, you already know that for 14 years I went to work with an M on my chest. No, I was not Muperman. I worked at McDonald’s and during my time there, I must have wrapped thousands and thousands of burgers. None of those burgers were turkey burgers, nor were they smoochburgers.
Hopefully that brought everyone up to speed. Though I’m not an amateur to burger making, I’ve only made turkey burgers at home a handful of times. It used to be a staple of mine when I ate at diners more frequently (be ready for a post where I gush about the many diners of Long Island). On our fifth date, which happened to be at Dave and Buster’s, Alissa admitted that she had never eaten a turkey burger. This was just absurd to me! She nearly ordered one since it was on the menu, but I stopped her post haste, insisting that I would make a turkey burger for her, some day.
Well, this past Wednesday was that day. It was nearly two months later, but I came through on my promise to make her a turkey burger.
Alissa came over to my apartment and I proceeded to wow her with my cooking skills (as I often do). I did amazing things like preheat the oven, lay frozen French fries on a cookie sheet, and set a timer. With these fries, you’re supposed to flip them halfway through. Once flipped, I gave them a liberal shake of salt. Nothing makes a good fry like salt.
The turkey burger was made with Jennie-O lean turkey meat, 4C gluten free breadcrumbs, and some onion powder. Once I mixed it all up and smushed them into burger patty size, I sprayed the heated pan, placed the burger patties, and let them sit for about five minutes. I then flipped the burgers and started to put together the other burger necessities.
On a plate, I set up a stylish setting of Swiss cheese, sliced tomato, leaves of lettuce, and Schar gluten free buns. Alissa and I enjoy Swiss cheese in or on most things, whether it’s a turkey burger, omelet, or grilled cheese.
Once the burger accoutrements were set, Alissa and I contemplated the vegetable side for the burger and fries. Given the option of frozen broccoli or salad, we chose to have salad since we had all the necessary ingredients. I chopped the head of lettuce, cut the rest of the tomato, and shredded the carrots on top. I added a generous sprinkling of mozzarella cheese to finish it off. This is where it gets interesting.
Alissa asked, “What kind of salad dressing do you have?”
To which, I answered, “Oh.” I didn’t have any salad dressing. I didn’t even have olive oil or vinegar. We scoured my fridge and cabinets to find something that we could combine into some sort of dressing.
Alissa asked, “Do you have mayo?”
“How about Chipotle Mayo?” I responded.
“No, that won’t do. Had you regular mayo, we could have added ketchup to make some kind of dressing.”
It was at this point that I told Alissa that I had I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and she asked if I had grated cheese. Of course I did! I even had garlic enhanced grated Parmesan cheese by Mama Francesca. In a small bowl, I mixed about two tablespoons of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and a few dashes of the garlic Parmesan cheese. I whisked it all together and then drizzled it on the salad. It tasted great! We called it: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Salad Dressing.”
Once we sat down, Alissa and I dug in, though Alissa did so in her own dainty way. Alissa ate her French fries with a fork, dipping each fry in ketchup before bringing to her lips.
After dinner, we took a short drive to Carvel, where Alissa ordered a vanilla / chocolate swirl sundae and I ordered a mint one. We brought it back to my house and ate our ice cream while discussing what we were going to watch that night. It was too late by the time we finished our ice cream, though there are now a few movies on the docket.
It was a great Wednesday night, complete with a delicious meal, delectable desserts, fantastic company, and engaging conversations. Thanks for reading through a bit of our history and we hope you enjoyed learning a bit about us.
As always… stay kissing and stay cooking.