Brie Stuffed Turkey Burgers, Grilled Green Apple
Today I wanted to talk about inspiration. When I first started cooking, I would watch all these superstar chefs on TV talk about how they could just go to a market, pick up a bunch of ingredients, and then make a fantastic dish. For a beginning cook, that’s a pretty intimidating experience. There were so many things I had never made, so many flavors I had never experienced, and so many cuisines I had to yet to try. So this idea of just going to a market and make something on the fly was completely overwhelming to me. I need a recipe and I needed to follow it religiously. Sometimes that led to hours upon hours in the kitchen, constantly flipping between books and what I was actually cooking. One time, I actually spent 3 hours making paella!
In the last few years, however, I’ve seen myself change as a cook. I’m not as reliant on recipes as I used to be, because I started to learn techniques. See the thing is, if you learn a recipe, you can do one thing. If you learn a technique, you can do hundreds of things. And once you see really fresh ingredients, you can apply your techniques to it. Think about Iron Chef. You get this secret ingredient and have to make 5 courses in an hour. The reason chefs can finish and make some amazing food is because they are masters technicians. You braise, you fry, you roast, you have a raw preparation, etc.
Now that I’ve learned how to cook, I see ingredients in a completely different way. If I see fresh basil leaves, I know I’m making a pesto. I saw some great beef ribs the other day, which I bought, and now plan on braising. I found some awesome swiss chard and decided to wrap some pork meatballs in, and cook them until they were melt in your mouth tender. And after our trip to Kenny’s dairy farm, I knew I had to make some delicious cheesy dishes. How can you not be inspired by something that looks this good!
Inspiration, for me, then comes from nature. Seek the great ingredients that are out there – seasonally and locally – and build them into a dish. The weather was nice and I knew I was grilling. When I think of grilling, I always think of hamburgers. Stuff a little bit of cheese into some lean ground turkey, and you’ll have a moist burger with a TON of flavor. That’s where the inspiration came for this dish. I hope you try it out and enjoy some good warm weather grilling!
Brie Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Grilled Green Apple (makes 4 burgers)
(Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay)
1 pound freshly ground turkey (for 1/4 lb burgers, use 2 pounds for 1/2 lb burgers)
4 1-inch cubes of Brie, 1/2 inch thick
1 large granny smith apple, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise or into circles
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shape the meat firmly into 4 round uniform patties about 1 1/2inches thick. Make a small indentation in the center of each patty and place 1 cube of the cheese in each. Knead the meat slightly to cover the hole. Brush both sides of the burgers lightly with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a grill over medium high heat. Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes on each side until nicely charred and cooked through. Brush the apples on both sides with the olive oil. Grill until golden on both sides. Place a burger on the bottom of a bun (or eat it without the bun as I did) and top with 1 or 2 apple slices.
What ingredients inspire you to cook? How do you find inspiration, whether by recipes or by nature? I’d love to know!