UP-NORTH TURKEY BURGER WITH SPICY CRANBERRY KETCHUP
I built my alternative turkey burger combining ingredients commonly used in our area of northern Wisconsin especially when making burgers and we grill alot of burgers and sometimes during snowstorms! A wonderful Wisconsin pre-sliced deli-style havarti cheese is melted over my burger then it is topped with my own recipe for spicy cranberry ketchup. Cranberries are grown 30 miles from my home and I use them in almost everything! A bakery-baked sesame seeded roll lightly toasted holds everything together. It’s the combination of flavors in my moist turkey burger and the fresh spicy cranberry ketchup that makes my “Up North Turkey Burger” a great local American burger. The two just go together and you don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy!
3/4 cup cubed (1/4-inch thick) white sandwich bread-crust removed
2 tablespoons whole milk
20 ounces fresh ground turkey- 85/15 preferred
1/2 cup finely minced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon ground rubbed sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Spicy Cranberry Ketchup
1/3 cup fresh whole Wisconsin cranberries
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped hickory smoked bacon
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (packed)
1-1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Vegetable oil to brush grill rack or grate
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
5 to 6 grinds fresh black peppercorns
6 slices deli-style Wisconsin Havarti cheese
6 (4-1/2 inch) sesame seeded bakery-baked Kaiser rolls-split
6 large pieces of red leaf lettuce
For patties, in a large bowl mash bread cubes and milk together using a fork. Add onion, garlic, sage thyme and basil; mix together. Break apart turkey in small pieces and add to bowl. Gently mix ingredients together until blended-do not over work. Form mixture into 6 patties. Make an indentation in center of each patty using your thumb. Refrigerate until needed.
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or a charcoal grill to medium-hot fire.
For ketchup, finely chop cranberries in a food processor; set cranberries aside until needed. Once grill heat has reached medium high, place a small heavy saucepan on grill grate. Add butter, onion and bacon; cook stirring frequently until onion is tender and bacon golden. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add ketchup, sugar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, paprika, salt, red pepper flakes and chopped cranberries. Stir until mixture bubbles then cook, 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring often. Place saucepan over a warm spot on grill rack until needed, stirring occasionally.
Brush grill rack with vegetable oil-be generous. Retrieve patties and season both sides with salt and ground peppercorns. Place patties on grill rack and cook patties on one side until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn patties and cook, 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink or to desired doneness. During final minutes of grilling, drape a slice of cheese over each patty and place rolls split side down along edge of grill to lightly toast. Remove patties when cheese has melted and rolls are lightly toasted.
To assemble, place a piece of lettuce over roll bottom, top with a burger then spoon a generous amount of spicy cranberry ketchup over burger. Cover with a roll top. The perfect pairing is Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon!