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these results are not typical.

Feb. 16, 2010 6:35 pm 
Updated: Feb. 17, 2010 11:26 am
My turkey burgers were an epic fail!  Okay.  Maybe not epic.  But what a flop of a meal :(

I tried the Garlic and Ranch Turkey Burger recipe.  I added about 1/4 cup bread crumbs because I was afraid they would fall apart... which they did anyway.  The flavor was [[[AMAZING]]], this fail was in no part due to a faulty recipe.  They were juicy and flavorful.  I did add a pinch of paprika, but it hardly made a difference.  I refrigerated it for a few hours, until I had to cook (I prepared both the meat and tomorrow's pork chop marinade this afternoon).   

From a pound of turkey, I made four BIG burgers (thanks for letting me know turkey doesn't shrink like beef!) and next time -- because there will be a next time -- I'm definitely making smaller patties.  These tasted amazing though, and in their huge patty brokenness, the hubs and I are fans.  Actually, if I were to be honest, they didn't fall apart that much... just more than my beef burgers.  We dressed them up with cheddar and provolone cheese, Miracle Whip (gag--that's a John thing), lettuce, and mustard.  Tomato would have been so good!  I just didn't have any. 

The bottom line is that I am unexperienced with turkey, so I'll be prepared for that next time.  Would more bread crumbs or another egg help?

The side dish was supposed to be sweet potato fries.  First of all, I'm not even sure I got the right vegetable.  I mean, it wasn't orange.  Does that matter, or am I uninformed?  Anyway, the sign and photo said sweet potato, and they smelled like sweet potatoes, so I went ahead.

Cutting fries is hard...  That was my first indication that this was not my recipe.  I tossed the "fries" ([slash] wedges) in olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.  At the suggestion of several responses to the recipe, I baked them at 400 for 20 minutes and increased the temp to 425 for the next 20 minutes or so.  They STUCK!  I left them in about 8 minutes longer, which resulted in browned (burnt) tips and, worse, a mess when I tried to serve them.

Again, my fries ([slash] mush) tasted GREAT!  They were just more mush than fries.  I had to gently scrape them from the bottom of the pan :(  Ironically, the browned/stuck parts were the tastiest.  Does anyone have any tips for how I can successfully prepare oven fries?  I want to try them again because, like the burgers, they tasted really good!

So, "epic fail" may have been strong.  Hubs is working in the kitchen, trying to un-sweet-potato my cookie sheet.  We really enjoyed our meal, just needed some perfecting.  Tips are appreciated.

End of story is this: try these recipes if you haven't.  Just make sure you're better at it than I :)
Feb. 16, 2010 7:49 pm
Did you grill or cook them in a skillet? My experience with Turkey burgers is that they don't hold up well on the grill. I usually brown in a skillet and finish in the oven. I agree- amazing flavor! As for the oven fries- microwave your potatoes for about 2 minutes on high and then throw into a preheated 450 degree oven. Because they are partially cooked- you can allow them to get brown and crispy, not burnt. Make sure and cut them more "fry" size than "steak fry" size. Hope this helps! Good luck- sounds like a dinner I would love :)
Feb. 16, 2010 7:51 pm
And line your cookie sheet with foil and cooking spray- eliminates a horrible mess :)
Feb. 17, 2010 4:18 am
Parchment paper is great. I don't put ANYTHING on my cookies sheets without covering them first. Turkey is drier, an egg would probably help bind them. It souded yummy though! Heat up some water in a pan and pour into your cookie sheet, along with some baking soda. Let cool and sticky stuff should come right off. Prob. too late now, but for next time!!
Feb. 17, 2010 5:22 am
I have used both ground turkey and ground chicken for an alternate to ground beef. I like chicken better. It has more flavor that turkey and it is moister.
Feb. 17, 2010 8:53 am
I had the same experience when I tried a bbq chicken burger...the chicken completely fell apart and made a mess but tasted fantastic! And I had no idea about parchment paper - good tips, ladies!
Feb. 17, 2010 9:24 am
Here's my take. I don't eat beef so i always have turkey/chicken/pork burgers. These all have less fat and that being the case you need to handle(read mix)them less or you will end up with either a crumbly patty or a 'meatloaf' because of adding more binder. Simply form a quick patty, season on top with spices of your choice, and grill. Don't flip till it's been seared(browned),then brown the other side. Hope this helps.
Feb. 17, 2010 10:02 am
About the Sweet Potatoes: first of all, I bought sweet potatoes once and one was orange and one was white - really wierd cause i never knew they could be white but I guess that just happens sometimes. Also, you might want to try non-stick foil when you do potatoes in the oven (we use the renolds release) - it works well and helps to save your baking sheets (and a lot of work!)
Feb. 17, 2010 10:52 am
hey everyone, thanks for reading! first of all, i think i knew deep down inside that the non-stick foil was a must. i don't know what i was thinking! john told me he didn't like the fries, but i don't care--i'm making them again! i have never used parchment paper, but i probably need to do something since my cookie sheets have been abused. kathleen: i am definitely going to try nukin' them first.. that's a good idea! thanks everyone for those great tips. i did cook my burgers in a skillet. i imagine it would have been a mess on the grill. i think the size had a lot to do with it, because they were hard to flip (haha). but, i did handle them a lot, mixing the seasoning and egg in. i had to mix more because i forget the egg at first.. sooooo that probably didn't help a whole lot! this makes me excited to try again!! and glad i started this blog! p.s. john did a great job with the pan.. i used the oldest, most beat up one i have. it looks just like it did before... beat up lol.
Feb. 17, 2010 11:26 am
I went to make a sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving this year and my sweet potato's were white! I freaked out and then looked online and found out that some yams are white. Still tastes good just doesn't look right!
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