11 November 2011

Nancy Silverton's Thanksgiving Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

Thanksgiving burger with sweet potato fries and cranberry sauce
Thanksgiving Burger with Sweet Potato Fries
I don't need to tell you how times flies. One moment we will be starting a new work week and then all of a sudden here it is Friday again. We turned our clocks back earlier in the week so reality has set in about the inevitability of winter. Could it be that it a few short days it will be the American Thanksgiving, and then of course the real celebration begins for Canadians with the C-Word not long after. Shhhh, I do not mention the word _____________ before December 1st for fear of being struck down in my prime. What I can and will mention is that today is Remembrance Day. It is not just a day off ,but a time to remember our fallen soldiers through the generations and all those who lived their lives for us. "Lest we Forget"

Our group has now reached #23 on the list of Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers. The past few months have flown by as we experiment with dishes from each of the 50 influential women on "the list." We began this journey back in June, can you believe it. Time really does fly!!!!!!!!!! Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire. There are even a few bloggers on the list. We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman.

Nancy Silverton, the esteemed founder of La Brea Bakery and the restaurant Campanile in Los Angeles is our next Woman Game Changer. She is an American chef and baker whose career path changed when, as a liberal arts major at California State University Sonoma she took a job working as a cook in her dormitory kitchen. She has authored several cookbooks and has been at the forefront of efforts to revitalize sourdough and artisan breads in the United States. After apprenticing at a small Northern California restaurant, she trained at the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in London and at the Ecole Le Notre in Plaiser, France. Upon returning to Los Angeles she worked as an assistant pastry chef. Ms. Silverton, who now owns two of Los Angeles’s most popular restaurants, Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, has just published her eighth book, “The Mozza Cookbook. Her esteemed career has guaranteed her a spot as #22 on the list.

In the summer one of my favourite well-travelled bloggers Mary of One Perfect Bite invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. Gourmet Live brought out a list of the 50 most influential women in food...Fifty women game changers. Some are chefs, some are food writers, and some are women who are passionate about the creative process. You could certainly add or detract women from this list, but no matter what these women have all influenced us in one way or another. Being a woman and passionate about food myself I wanted to explore and join Mary on this journey and not only learn from the masters but recreate some of their dishes to better understand what has shaped and molded them into who they are today. In doing so I have learned more about myself, and have learned more than a few new recipes and techniques. My cohorts for this adventure can be found below. If you would like to join in contact Mary.

When loaves of soft white bread stocked bakery shelves and bagels were the biggest breakthrough in breads, Nancy Silverton brought our culinary attention to the soul-satisfying pleasures of artisan baking. There have been many who have followed on her chef coat tales. She and her (then) chef-husband opened the doors to La Brea Bakery in conjunction with their restaurant Campanile in 1989 after finding no one in the Los Angeles area capable of supplying them with the flavourful crusty loaves that they had sampled in Europe.

Although we love to cook do we really want to spend all day in the kitchen for that feeling of satisfaction and gratification? We already did turkey and all the trimmings back in October for our Canadian celebrations but the celebrations never end here on these pages!!! I didn't bake any beautiful artisan loaves of my own to honour Nancy for this challenge but I did use some artisan buns for some gorgeous turkey burgers to celebrate the American Thanksgiving. What a perfect way to have a quick "turkey dinner" with all the holiday flavours inspired by your centerpiece turkey with sage, thyme and celery... plus a spoonful of cranberry sauce for a dash of star quality with its brightness and acidity.

White-meat turkey burgers can be dry, so chefs Amy Pressman and Nancy Silverton used a mix of white meat, dark meat, and skin (ask a butcher to grind the combination for you). I happened to have white meat only so to moisten the burger I changed the recipe a little, made only 1/2 of the sauteed leek, onion and herb mixture and added it into the turkey meat itself for a moist and satisfying burger! Good choice!!! Serve them sith sweet potato fries that are not only delicious but they also provide an extra hit of nutrition compared to fries made from regular potatoes. Plus, they're baked another reason they are a healthy choice. I also LOVE the "baby" single serving ketchups. These are a purchase I always make when I find myself in the States.

What have we been up to this week with our 23rd Game Changer Nancy Silverton....

Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Thanksgiving Burger with Sweet Potato Fries
Joanne of Eats Well With Others  Gorgonzola Dolce, Fingerling Potatoes, Radicchio and Rosemary Pizza
Susan of The Spice Garden
Heather of Girlichef  - Prosciutto Parmesan Braids
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Unforgettable Foccacia
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living  - Cranberry Ginger Upside Down Cake
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me - Nancy's Ginger Scones
Sue of View from The Great Island - Nancy's Meatballs
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Bran Muffins
Nancy of Picadillo - Tuscan Bean Soup with Prosciutto and Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Banana Bread
Annie at Most Lovely Things - Balsamic-Glazed Onion Wedges with Fennel

I urged you to try this version of a "turkey dinner" and then head out for a hike!! The recipe asks you to grill your burger but you can use your indoor grill or just pan fry your burger. Your burger...your choice. Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends and expats!!!! There is so much to be thankful for!

**Thanksgiving Turkey Burger**
Recipe created by Amy Pressman and Nancy Silverton
O, The Oprah Magazine , May 17, 2011
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground turkey, preferably a mix of dark and white meat, shaped into 4 (4 1/2- to 5-inch) patties
  • Canola oil, for greasing grill
  • 1/4 pound aged white Cheddar, cut into 4 slices
  • 4 hamburger rolls, such as challah buns, split
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes more; set aside.

Season turkey patties all over with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. (At this point I added some of the leek herb mixture to the turkey meat for moistness) .Carefully grease grill grates with oil, arrange patties on grill, and cook, flipping once, until they reach desired doneness, about 10 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, top burgers with cheese and toast buns on grill until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl, then spread on buns. Top with burgers, leek and celery mixture, and cranberry sauce, and serve.

Serves 4

**Sweet Potato Fries**

•2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
•2 tablespoon canola oil
•1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°. Slice sweet potatoes into sticks, about 1/3 inch thick. In a large bowl, toss together with the oil and salt.

Place fries on a sheet tray and cook, turning once, until they start to crisp and brown, about 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. This is such a fun variation on a Turkey dinner! Although I can't give up my regular dinner, I'd love to add this to the menu during the week leading up to turkey day...just to keep me in the mood (not that I need help with that, but...). Love it!

  2. Great meal, I want to try it all. I sometimes avoid turkey burgers because I like white meat and, like you say, they can be dry, so your idea of adding the veggies into the mixture is perfect. I have been meaning to try to make sweet potato fries for ages...I order them in every restaurant that offers them, thanks!

  3. Absolutely amazing! That burger looks lipsmackingly good.



  4. This is a great way to enjoy turkey and some of the trimmings whenever the urge strikes. It sounds wonderful. I love the background information you shared with us today, Val. There is a flow to your writing that I find most appealing. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. I love that you added in all the fixings into the burger. Brilliant. This would be my way to enjoying a thanksgiving feast. (easier cleanup too!)

  6. WOW..This looks awesome..Yummy

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  7. Oh wow! This looks so festive and delicious! Especially those sweet potato fries!

  8. What an absolutely awesome burger! With sweet potato fries...my favorite combo! Great post!

  9. Oh my, heavenly! Everything! I have a million sweet potatoes from my CSA that I must cook immediately. Those fries are making me drool, as is the burger! Yum.

  10. There's a restaurant here in Los Angeles with fancy turkey burger sliders on their kids' menu for Thanksgiving. It's a fun way for kids to get the Thanksgiving goods in a familiar and favorite package for them. :) Great burger!

  11. Thanksgiving dinner in a burger. I love it, Val. And you've even served it with traditional sweet potatoes in my favorite form...fries! Love that you baked them. I won't feel guilty!

  12. OMG VAll this look absolutely amazing!!!gloria

    have a nice weekend

  13. What a nice casual Thanksgiving meal - my kids would love this!

  14. Oh my these look amazing!

  15. That's probably the cutest little bottle of ketchup I've ever seen.:) The burger sounds good. I always make my leftover turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce, but I've never made the connection and put it on my turkey burgers- it's such a perfect flavor combination! I love this series. :)

  16. These burgers sound ridiculously packed full of flavor which isn't something you can always say about turkey burgers!

  17. Um, I'll be eating a big roast turkey for Thanksgiving, but that burger sounds good. I could eat in in the days leading up to C___ . What a cute little ketchup bottle!

  18. Put me down for one of those please! This burger looks delicious.

  19. Love your photo; i had not heard of her before; thank you for sharing; those are the cutest bottles.

  20. You're so right that we all have much to be thankful for, even when we don't see it. Thanks for the insights to Nancy Silverton.

  21. I think I have mentioned over and over how much I enjoy these posts. Nancy Silverton is a wonderful choice! I am always looking for ways to spice up ground turkey and grounds chicken instead of beef - so will be doing this. Love the presentation. Need I mention I will also be doing that?

  22. You're stricter than I am. I start using the C-word after Thanksgiving!

  23. Dry turkey burgers aren't tasty. But this version looks moist and flavorful. I recently made a version with apple in it, that really kicked up the moisture. Sweet potato fries are the perfect accompaniment.

  24. You make such fabulous looking, food, Val. I am in awe of how good your are in the kitchen - particularly with feeding only one. I have a really hard time making an effort to feed my husband, and I care about what he eats much more than what I do most days. I love cooking - you know that - but it is the daily grind of it that is so frustrating for me. If he at least told me what he might "feel like" so I had some direction, it would help. I am in constant admiration of your healthy, GORGEOUS, and delicious looking meals. I have browsed through a few here today. WOW.

  25. That burger looks great - I can never seem to take good burger pictures though and yours always are lovely. Hand me some of those fries will ya?

  26. I really enjoy turkey burgers, especially with those trimmings, and I am totally addicted to sweet potato fries.

  27. That burger says BITE ME! Mmmm, we never do this kind of food in the house but I seriously think I should include it in our menu :D

  28. Definitely to be made soon. It sounds so good I think today might be the day....

  29. This looks so good and those wonderful flavors between a challah roll...and sweet potato fries...love the idea of having this and then going out for a hike...the perfect ending to a meal like this!

  30. All of the links look so intriguing. Burger looks great and I'm with you. No C word yet. I want to enjoy the Fall.

  31. You know how important it is to me to make turkey burgers taste better. This is right up my alley. I like how it's not overdone too. Some folks would pile stuffing and who knows what else onto the burger. This is nice and simple.

  32. The sounds like the perfect lunch. We are fans of Nancy, glad she's on the list. Love your photo with ketchup.

  33. while i love the burger and itty bitty bottle of ketchup, i will always be smitten first and foremost with a batch of sweet potato fries. :)

  34. What a delicious-sounding turkey burger! I love the addition of whole cranberry sauce in them. What a fun take on Thanksgiving dinner!


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