Father’s Day 2012: Mustard turkey burgers

If there’s one thing my dad dislikes, it’s leftover holiday turkey. In fact, there is an infamous Duff family story involving my exasperated dad and a plate of turkey pot pie…but we won’t go there.

This context in mind, it was totally logical that I make him turkey burgers for father’s day, the one day of the year that is supposed to be all about him. Before you start crying injustice and boycotting my blog, let me explain. Because I love my dad, I want to expand his horizons. I intend to do that by presenting him with things – turkey burgers, say – of which he may be a little wary. By making dinner delicious and thus somewhat reversing his hatred of all things turkey-related, I’ve helped him out in my own special way. BAM – the gift of enlightenment. What did you guys get your dad..golf clubs? Pfft, whatever!

Even if these were turkey, they were still burgers which I thought fit into the theme of “dads” quite well. Plus, my dad taught me to barbeque a few weeks ago, so I thought he might appreciate me showing off this newfound ability.

When I saw the recipe for these burgers, it automatically reminded me of my dad, just because of the Dijon mustard use. Back story: there was a stint in grade seven or eight when I would make my dad a sandwich every night to bring to work the next day. This sandwich would always have the same innards – margarine, sliced ham and a generous spoonful of Dijon mustard. The smell, texture and taste of said condiment now reminds me of him. Go figure.

Oh right, and I also decided to make homemade sesame seed hamburger buns after seeing this beautiful recipe on the interwebs. We have a breadmaker at home, but I wanted to get all Betty Crocker and knead everything by hand. Plus I get to eat more dough that way…

Anyways, these ended up being a hit and I loved the avocado and roasted red pepper as toppings.

PS: if you haven’t already, go read this stellar personal essay by the Globe and Mail’s Ian Brown. It is father-themed, and therefore appropriate for this post. It made me cry like a baby and write an emotional letter to my dad, which I inappropriately called “The First Draft of your Eulogy.”

Oh god, I suck at father’s day, don’t I?

Recipe: Mustard turkey burgers
Adapted from The Bitten Word
– 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
– 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
– 1/2 red onion, minced
– 1 1/2 tsp salt
– 6 hamburger buns (store bought or homemade using the recipe below/any other one of your choice)
– 1/2 avocado, mashed
– A jar of sliced roasted red peppers
– 1 cup baby arugula/spinach mix

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, Dijon mustard, red onion, and salt. Form mixture into six patties and chill 30 minutes.

Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Serve on buns with avocado, peppers, mixed greens and another slathering of Dijon.

Makes 6 burgers.

Recipe: Sesame seed hamburger buns
From Cookistry
– 1 3/4 cups warm water
– 1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast
– 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
– 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder (non-instant! – buy at Bulk Barn)
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
– 4 cups all purpose flour
– 1 large egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water, for glazing
– 1/4 cup sesame seeds

In a small bowl, pour in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar over the water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl using a whisk or in the work bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups water, dried milk, the remaining sugar, salt, and butter. Mix in the yeast mixture. Add 2 cups of the flour. Beat hard until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft, shaggy dough that just clears the sides of the bowl is formed. Switch to a wooden spoon when necessary if mixing by hand.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 4 minutes, dusting with flour only 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to make a smooth and soft dough.

If kneading by machine, switch from the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy and springs back when pressed. If desired, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly by hand,

Place the dough in a greased deep container. Turn once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Grease or parchment-line a baking sheet.

Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each into a tight round ball and place each ball seam side down and at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Use a second baking sheet rather than crowd the rolls. Flatten each ball with your palm. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Brush each roll with the egg glaze and sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds. Place the baking sheet on the rack in the center of the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly brown and firm to the touch. Transfer the rolls immediately to a cooling rack. Cool completely before splitting.

Makes 12 burger buns.

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