Saturday, August 20, 2011

Basic Cole Slaw

For a long time I thought I didn't like cole slaw.  I am generally not a huge fan of mayo, and also assumed that I didn't like cabbage for no particular reason (I am slowly working my way through all of the foods I still have residual fears of from being a really picky kid!).  A few years ago I made a slaw that didn't contain mayo, just a vinegar based dressing, and realized that I actually really like cabbage.  And then more recently I figured out that my aversion to mayo-based salads is that most of them use WAY too much mayo, making them heavy and "goppy", as my mother would say.  As a result, I started experimenting with homemade slaw, and have been pleasantly surprised.  Crisp, freshly shredded cabbage tossed lightly with some sweet and vinegary dressing is really enjoyable, either as a topping for something like Barbecue Turkey Burgers or as an all-purpose side dish for any grilling event.  This recipe is classic, easy to put together, and really delicious.  

Basic Cole Slaw
adapted from Epicurious

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion

In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and mustard.  Add the shredded cabbage, and grate the carrot and onion on top.  Season with salt and pepper and toss together, tasting and adjusting seasoning as needed.  Cole slaw may be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.  Serve as a topping for Barbecue Turkey Burgers or as a side for any summer meal.

Barbecue Turkey Burgers

Sorry it's taken me until mid-August to post this recipe, but at least it's in time for your Labor Day barbecue!  I am a big fan of a traditional hamburger made with grass fed ground beef, but every once in a while I like to switch things up and use turkey.  I've found, however, that a lot of turkey burger recipes require a ton of ingredients, presumably because otherwise it's hard to keep the turkey moist and flavorful?  So when I came across this recipe I was really excited - this homemade barbecue sauce is so simple, contains only ingredients that you could easily have on hand all the time, and is delicious on its own.  But the beauty of this recipe is that the sauce is also used to add flavor to the burgers and keep them moist at the same time!

I made some changes to the original recipe to simplify things (and increase the amount of sauce mixed in with the meat) and am very happy with the results.  They were also paired with a cole slaw recipe which came out great, but is totally optional as a topping - these burgers are great just with some sliced tomato or whatever else you like on your burgers.

Barbecue Turkey Burgers
adapted from Epicurious

Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Turkey Burgers
1 pound ground turkey (I like a combination of white and dark meat; all white meat will be more likely to stick to the grill and dry out)
1/4 cup bread crumbs (fresh or dried)
1 small onion, minced (optional)

In a small bowl stir together Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, salt, chili powder, and cumin until sauce is smooth.

In a large bowl stir together turkey, bread crumbs, onion (if using), and 1/4 cup sauce until combined well and form into 4 patties. Burgers may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Divide remaining sauce in half and put in separate bowls, half for brushing burgers on the grill and half for drizzling on cooked burgers. Chill sauce, covered.

Preheat grill to high heat.  Spray rack and grill burgers, brushing frequently with barbecue sauce, 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Serve on 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns (or your favorite rolls or buns!), and top with additional barbecue sauce, Basic Cole Slaw, and/or your favorite burger toppings.

Serves 4