I have always prided myself on the fact that I was a good eater as a child. My first memories of turkey though tell a different story. One night when it was just me eating dinner at the kitchen bench, my mum tried to pass it up as chicken, now being the little cheeky know-it-all I was I knew it wasn't chicken. I refused to eat it and it's the one and only time I was made to sit there until I'd finished it all, normally my plate would be completely empty and I would ask for a piece of bread to mop up what was left.
This experience left me with a nasty taste for turkey for a fair few years. It has only been in the past couple that I now have learnt to love the funny looking bird that comes out mostly for celebrations or on a sandwich smothered with mayo and bursting with crunchy lettuce. I think Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are to thank for bringing the idea of liking turkey back into my life with their Christmas TV shows. The idea of Christmas being celebrated during the cold months with everyone crowded around a full table of food with the turkey as the centre piece. Sounds like so much fun! oooo and there has to be an open fire and goblets of wine... ok the goblets may be a little over-kill.
In Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen's book It's all Good they cook with a lot of turkey and its simple recipes that don't require you to roast a whole bird. A whole roast turkey would be great for a special occasion or even the Sunday roast if you have a large family or love leftovers, saying that I have had one of the best turkey pies ever at a work team meeting in the past. I've heard some great reviews on the Turkey meatballs from this cookbook but never yet cooked anything from it. So what was I waiting for?
I chose to try the Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers with Cucumber & yoghurt sauce and when the little blurb at the top of the recipe says they are especially good alongside the NY Street Vendor salad how could I stop at only one recipe in this book?!
The burgers were super easy to make. Bung a whole load of ingredients in the food processor then mix them all together with the turkey mince. Shape into patties, let sit for a little bit while you prep the salad and sauce then get grilling! The cucumber and yoghurt sauce to go with it was pretty good too, very refreshing! I used greek yoghurt because it's what we had and a few less herbs... my mint is not doing so well. Mr Caterpillar has made it his new home.
The salad was pretty much like the normal green salad I make at home to go with dinner when the lettuce is on its last legs, but that the dressing was pretty kick-ass. I've never used tahini before and had no idea where to find it in the supermarket on Monday night. I'm walking up and down the supermarket isles looking for TAR-HEE-NEE... for what? TAR-HEE-NEE! Yes I have no idea how to say it and was pretty sure I was saying it very wrong walking up and down the isles talking loudly to Tristan who kept asking 'what are we looking for?' TAR-HEE-NEE I kept repeating back to him. Tahini is kept in the health food section. I should have know better after reading this cookbook that I would most probably find it there but I was too stubborn to ask for help.
I felt so healthy after dinner. Not over full or frumpy. It was such a fresh and scrumptious dinner for a cold night. And a great one handed dinner for my one armed patient at the moment. And it was great for lunch the next day! We ate it with a soft white bun but it would be great by itself with just the salad.
...terrible terrible photo's....
Middle Easter Turkey Burgers with Cucumber & Yoghurt sauce from It's all GoodBy Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen.makes 4 burgers
For the burgers:
4 shallots, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp dried oregano
8 large basil leaves
3 handfuls of baby spinach
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
500g turkey mince
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 Soft white bread rolls (optional)
For the Sauce:
1 cup greek yoghurt
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 english cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tbsp mint leaves, finely sliced
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1/2 tsp coarse salt
- Put shallots, garlic, oregano, basil, spinach, lemon zest, salt and pepper in the food processor and pulse until it becomes almost a paste. Pour into a bowl and add the turkey mince. Using a fork, mix everything together and form into 4 patties. Let sit in the fridge for about an hour (if possible).
- When ready to cook the patties, brush them with olive oil and grill on a medium heat until cooked through. Serve with the yoghurt sauce (on a soft white bun... optional).
-Mix everything together and keep in firdge until ready to serve.
NY Vendor Salad with Yoghurt-Tahini Dressing from It's all Good By Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen.
1 baby cos lettuce, chopped
a cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 english cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/3 red onion, finely sliced
1x Yoghurt Tahini dressing recipe (below)
Arrange lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and onion on plate or in serving bowl and drizzle dressing over the top. It is quite rich so don't go too crazy with it. I'm a salad drowner through and through so I had to be careful with this dressing.
Yoghurt Tahini Dressing:
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 small clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk tahini and water together until completely combined. Add remaining ingredients, whisking everything together. Dress salad.. don't drown it!