hot hot heat

September 9, 2009

Summer is officially winding down but it’s not over yet! I am all for making the most of the last steamy days of the season and the food traditions they herald.

We had a Labor Day grilling extravaganza and rocked two awesome recipes!

Turkey Burgers

This one is Dan’s recipe – he makes turkey burgers all the time on the grill. We agreed that these were his best to date!


(Makes four massive burgers)

  • 1 lb ground turkey thigh (use this as opposed to turkey breast because it’s more flavorful and holds together better in burger form)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 egg (essential for holding the patties together since turkey burgers are known for collapsing easily)
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil, for basting
  • burger buns (potato rolls are great for these burgers)


To create the breadcrumbs chef Dan used a slice of Whole Food’s organic multi seed bread (which is delicious incidentally!) and toasted it in a 350F oven before crumbling it into small pieces, like so:

Grab a large-ish bowl and combine the ground turkey, onion, cilantro, garlic and breadcrumbs.

Crack the egg into the mixture and combine. Try not to over work the mixture.

Form patties with your delicious burger mixture, like so:

Top Tip: place the raw patties in the fridge for half an hour to an hour before grilling so that they firm up and the flavors meld beautifully.

Before grilling, baste the patties with some canola oil and grind some good salt and pepper on each side.

Buttering your buns and grilling them slightly before constructing the burgers is another top tip for ultimate deliciousness!

Ta da!

Add whatever fixings your heart desires. We had raw red onion, fresh heirloom tomato slices and sriracha-ketchup.

Served alongside a nice “whole protein” as our friend enjoyed pointing out: rice and beans. And of course, there was some guacamole.

The real stars of the show with these burgers for me are the egg that holds them together and makes them super thick and filling, as well as the cilantro. They are truly delicious burgers, perfect for late summer grilling.

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Mascarpone

I have been trying to find a use for the massive amount of mascarpone we have left over from making French Toast a couple weeks back (I hate wasting food!). When I looked online grilled fruit seemed to be the way to go and I adapted this recipe to make my grilled peaches.

As with most things I make, it is super easy even though the end result with these was amazingly decadent in appearance and taste! Hooray to that!

I halved the quantities used in the original recipe to get what you see below and did not use a vanilla bean since I couldn’t really justify the $10.00 price tag for one dessert! I’m pretty sure it did not matter one bit.


  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 2 ripe, but firm peached, halved


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high
  2. Stir 1/2 a teaspoon vanilla extract and all the honey into your mascarpone until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan over a low heat and stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining vanilla extract.
  4. Slice peaches in half, removing pits. Brush butter/sugar glaze over the peaches.
  5. Place peaches cut side down on the grill and cook for about four minutes on each side or until tender – be sure to get those awesome grill marks now!
  6. Transfer to a plate or platter and spoon a dollop of mascarpone into the center of each peach half. Devour!

I can’t find words to describe how rich and velvety this dish was. The sweetness of the peaches was really enriched by the buttery, sugary glaze and the mascarpone was just about the most beautiful thing I have tasted in a while – I couldn’t stop taking scoops from the bowl with my fingers!

This recipe or something similar would work well with pears as well I think. The great thing about it is how easy it is to make and how versatile the flavor is – cinnamon and vanilla make a lot of things zing!

I know some people are scared ofmascarpone because they haven’t heard of it or don’t know how to use it. Bear in mind that this is not a cheesy cheese in terms of flavor. It’s a triple cream made from creme fraiche, hence all the sweet recipes I have been using it for (it’s a major ingredient in tiramasu too) but I also plan on adding it to a homemade tomato sauce soon and I think it would work really well in risotto too.

Enjoy your end of summer grilling adventures!

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