Friday, January 21, 2011

Ground Turkey and George Foreman

I once had a Turkey burger in a restaurant and it was OK, but not great. We’re trying to eat healthy and delicious.

Whenever I would hear people talk about the George Foreman grilling Machine, I rolled my eyes. I thought it was just another gadget to own. Well, even when I reject something, I am still fair and give something a try before my final judgment. We did buy one—the small version for two. I tried to justify all the reasons in my mind of why this could be a good thing. I also had a George Foreman grilling cookbook with recipes. The book was given to me some time ago. This was the impetus behind the purchase.

A month later, and I’m having my doubts. As I suspected, it’s a bit of a pain to clean. It’s time consuming and if I use honey in a sauce to pore over the meat, it is even harder to scrape off the grill. You cannot submerse the grill in water. All cleaning must be done by hand, careful to get in the grooves and get all the little bits out.

It’s a novelty that the meat cooks from the bottom and the top. For the most part the meat or fish stays tender inside, leaving a slightly tough and dry outer skin. I have a feeling that after a few more uses, we are going to retire Mr. Foreman. I think what I like most about it is that it doesn’t spatter oil all over the place and I don’t have to have all the stove burners running.

We’ve cooked chicken, salmon, sole, and turkey burgers on the grill. If not for the grill, I may not have ventured into the world of ground turkey, thus, I prepared a dinner last night that was light and delicious.

I knew that I was going to prepare the small package of  artichoke with cheese and olives raviolis. I didn’t want to pair a heavy sauce with it, so I decided to use what I had in the kitchen. The idea came to me after looking through a few cookbooks. To make the simple sauce, these are the ingredients I used. It’s not so much a sauce as a dressing. I ran out of garlic; otherwise, I would have added it too.

Dressing a la ground Turkey

-Splash of olive oil
-Pat of butter
-Small handful of ground turkey
-Dash of salt and garlic salt
-Pinch of parsley
-Few shakes of basil
-1/2 handful of walnuts crushed up
-Bunch of fresh baby spinach leaves

Brown the ground turkey in the olive oil and butter, using the spoon to break it down into fine pieces. Add all but the spinach, stir. When all ingredients have married, add spinach.

Keep warm. Cook pasta, add a bit more olive oil, and toss with turkey spinach dressing.

We also had a green salad with dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, and cherry tomatoes, tossed with an olive oil vinaigrette; and tortillas as our bread.

I must say this was one of my favorite meals so far and all thanks to the George Foreman Grill.



15 comments:

Luciana said...

Rebb, we have bought a small grill some time ago, and still haven't abandoned it, but only because of the kids, who love the burgers. I agree with you: it 's really a pain to clean it! ;-)

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

Boy! I don't know how many times I went through this. The last one was a bread maker. When I fell in love with a wonderful machine, I had to have it each time, but I had to get rid of it later on. One of my oldest machines survived is a hand mixer. I think I bought it in 1972 or 73. That was a wise purchase.


Lu,

Do you need a special skillet to make hamburgers? Wait a minute. I used to have an electric grill for teppanyaki. And a fondue set, and a sukiyaki skillet, and a wooden barrell for making sushi rice...

Rebb said...

Lu, I’m glad it’s not just me that thinks it’s a pain to clean. I cooked chicken in a little bit of oil last night and missed how the grill does not spatter and permeate the whole house. Even though I did not use much oil, it felt like I did and I could feel it spatter up. Maybe I will be hanging on to my little grill afterall. I haven’t tried regular burgers. I bet that would be really good and if the kids love them, that says a lot! :)

Rebb said...

Keiko, You are so funny. Now, why doesn’t that surprise me? Hehe. I’ve always wanted to get a bread maker. I loooove the smell of fresh baked bread and when I tried to make it by hand once, well, it wasn’t very good. I even tried to make pasta by hand once and that was not a very good idea. It’s funny how there are so many fun and interesting cooking gadgets and machines to buy and we only end up using them so little and then on to the next machine. I guess that’s part of our American consumerist ways. Or maybe that’s how’s it’s gone ever since humans started getting creative—we just want more. I wonder if they still make hand mixers.

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

I had a pasta maker, too. You just reminded me. I made fresh noodles using it. One mother's day, my kids and I were at home all day and used new breadmaker, pasta maker, and a juicer. White flour dusted all over, and we cooked and made lemonade all day. It was the best mother's day. That memory is enough for the mother's day for the rest of my life. No more hand mixer? Then mine is even more valuable. It is still working. I never bought a food processor.

ashok said...

Looks like you are trying some very delicious and adventurous cooking Rebb.

Here is a recipe for ground chicken that you can make from a whole chicken - chicken kebabs.

Steam half a chicken until it can come off the bones. Strip the meat off the bones. Keep the stock to add to a soup for later.

Add the chicken meat in a grinder bowl with

four cloves garlic
one egg
a bit of the stock
a pinch of MSG
a tea spoon of vinegar
half a tea spoon of black pepper and another half a tea spoon of cumin
salt to taste
I(f you have some cilantro that can be added too and if you like food hot one may add a bit of chopped green chilles.

grind the meat briefly. It is better if it is a little coarse

pour out into a bowl and add enough bread crumbs to make the mixture stiff. Shallow into burger patties and then shallow fry in a pan until both sides are brown.

Use as burger patties or serve with mashed potatoes and a green salad. Just ketchup is a good sauce to go with it.

I see that you have a new photo too.

ashok said...

Yes the reason i wrote this recipe is that it will probabaly work with turkey too. It works with most meats.

ashok said...

In my first comment - shallow into - should read shape into -

Rebb said...

Keiko, That is such a wonderful memory. Even though I’m not a mother, I can see and feel how precious that moment was.

Rebb said...

Ashok, Thank you for the recipe. I will have to give that a try. I love mashed potatoes! I haven’t changed my photo…same one, but you’ve given me an idea that maybe I will change it.

p.s. I realized I didn’t respond to your suggestion about my extra items in a small space on my moving/clutter blog. I looked into it and I am not able to justify the cost of putting my stuff in storage. It’s expensive and to think those items would just stay there and not be looked at. It’s as though they need to be released. I like that little by little, I am getting better and not finding the need to hang on to things—or at least I’m trying. Even now, as I look around, I see things that seem to be just taking up space.

Also, on another food note, I am now able to boil cinnamon sticks in water. Not only does it expel a wonderful aroma, but it tastes delicious with a hint of sugar.

keiko amano said...

Rebb,

Cinnamon stick in boiling water sounds good. I'll try it, hopefully this afternoon.

keiko amano said...

Ashok,

Ashok,

I hope to taste your burger. I bet it's good. Now my kids are adults, I don't feel like cooking any burger for the rest of my life. We have Inn and Out burger near my place. It's so reasonable and good franchise burger shop. I eat their burger wrapped in lettuce only, but I haven't visited the place since last summer.

ashok said...

Yes your cinnamon idea is great.

I think it is a good idea not to be attached to stuff one is not using. It would only be useful if you built a full home and kids later and had space to store it ( something like your granpas home. But then when that happens more stuff will collect anyway.

ashok said...

Rebb, Inspired by your thoughts on posessions I have written a new blog post.

Rebb said...

Ashok, That’s great. I took a look and you have written a very relatable blog and I appreciate your personal details. I am going to digest it and hope to comment later.