I am realizing that I hardly have any meat recipes on here. It is not that I do not eat meat, because I do, but I just find it so much more challenging and fun to create wholesome and nourishing plant-based recipes. While I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I feel better, more energized, with a little meat from time to time. When I am at home, I prefer to cook meat that is locally sourced and free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free, and/or organic. It does cost a bit more to eat meat this way, but because I do not eat it but a few times a week, I am able to justify this extra cost. While I am naturally drawn to more plant-based dishes, when I go out to eat or eat with family or friends, I am more flexible because I enjoy experiencing other peoples' creations. That said, I hope that our culture lessens the emphasis on meat-centric meals, and use meat in a more sustainable and intentional way.
Now, onto this burger. I thought this would be a good way to say good-bye to summer and hello to fall. It merges the summer burger with a fall-inspired slaw. I chose an English muffin here as the bun for a few reasons. English muffins are easy to freeze so they are often something I have on hand. Also, their slight tang complements the juicy burger and sharp cheddar. One of the main reasons I am using an English muffin stems from my experience cooking in restaurants. When I worked as the pastry chef for a restaurant in Norwich, VT, the chef served his most popular item- the burger- on homemade English muffins with Vermont cheddar, and it was dynamite. And guess who was in charge of making those English muffins. Yep, me. I will eventually get around to making a rendition of them on the blog because homemade English muffins are well, words just cannot describe. For simplicity sake, for this recipe, I use a store-bought whole wheat English muffin, toast it, and it gets the job done.
I cook the burgers in a cast iron skillet, although grilling is always an option. With the cast iron pan, I can sprinkle the cheese on after flipping and all the extra bits that fall to the side crisp up while the burger continues to cook. The slaw comes together in a flash. You can use your favorite crunchy apple, but I recommend something sweet and crisp. It may seem like a lot of cabbage at first, but it wilts right down after a good massage with salt, and letting it rest in the honey mustard dressing. Tahini + honey mustard dressing pulls it all together.
Serve alongside some easy Rosemary Garlic Sweet Potato Fries, and you have dinner.
Turkey and Cheddar Burger with Honey Mustard Apple Slaw
1 lb. ground turkey, preferably local
2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot extra-sharp), grated (about 1 cup)
Honey Mustard Apple Slaw (recipe below)
2 tablespoons tahini, for burger sauce
1 tablespoon reserved honey mustard dressing from slaw below
4 whole wheat English muffins, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow cast iron skillet to heat in oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, form 4 patties with the ground turkey. Sprinkle one side with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from oven (turn oven off) and place on stove-top over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil, swirl to coat. Add patties, seasoned side down and allow to cook for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on the other side. Flip burgers and sprinkle with 1 ounce grated cheddar cheese each. Allow burgers to cook for 3-4 minutes or until done. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes to allow juices to settle before serving.
Make burger sauce. Mix 2 tablespoons of tahini with 1 tablespoon remaining honey mustard dressing used for slaw.
Assemble burgers. Spread a thin layer of sauce on each English muffin half. Add patty to bottom halves, top with slaw, and top with English muffin. Enjoy! Makes 4 burgers.
Honey Mustard Apple Slaw
1/2 head small read cabbage, sliced very thinly (about 4 cups)
1 carrot, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey, preferably
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 medium crisp, sweet apple, julienned (I used Honeycrisp)
Add cabbage and carrot to a bowl. Add salt, and massage salt into vegetables. Vegetables will begin to wilt. Mix remaining ingredients minus apple in a small bowl to make dressing. Reserve 1 tablespoon of dressing for burger sauce. Pour remaining dressing over cabbage mixture and toss until well combined. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Add apple, adjust seasoning to taste, and serve.