I LOVE that show, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network.
Well, really anything on the Food Network.
But, who doesn’t enjoy see those amazing dishes, and learning about what food gurus think is the BEST of the Best?
It seems like we’ve all had those few dishes that really stick with us: The ones that we dream of as we eat random green leftovers for lunch, or choke down that rubber chicken they serve at conferences and college events…. again. The ones that we crave all the more because they are so unattainable – Nestled in a cozy booth in a restaurant far away, or at your grandmother’s table in another state.
Well, I’m no guru, but this is one of those meals.
Inspired by Barley’s Brewing Company’s Turkey Nut Burger, this sandwich is spicy, sweet, juicy and fresh. The pecans are surprising. The aioli is secretly healthy. Best enjoyed with crispy baked sweet potato fries.
The secret is really in the maple syrup, pecans and aioli, so feel free to use your tried and true burger recipe (I based mine off of this one), or even use ground beef, chicken or pork. Those caramelized, sweet pecans are to die for!. The millet, onion and veggies in this version do a great job of keeping things juicy… just be very careful when flipping. The lower fat content can cause the burgers to crumble easily…. but it’s so worth it : )
Sweet Turkey Pecan Burger with Spicy Yogurt Aioli
For the Burger:
- 1 lb ground turkey (lowest fat content may not hold together as well when formed into patties – try 93%-lean)
- 1/4 cup cooked millet (you can substitute couscous, quinoa or another grain if you have it on hand)
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 T chopped fresh thyme
- 1 T chopped fresh basil
- 1 t oregano
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3 T olive Oil
- 2 T pure maple syrup
For Spicy Aioli:
Measurements are “to taste” – add a little more spicy or sweet if you’d like!
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- About 1 T Sriracha Asian Chili Sauce (available at most grocery stores!)
- About 1 T honey
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1T olive oil
- 2T fig or balsamic vinegar
- Sprinkle of brown sugar (optional)
- Sliced tomato
- Cheese of your choice
- Prepare millet according to directions, or (like I did) use leftovers!
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Prepare aioli: Mix yogurt, chili sauce and honey to taste, cover and place in refrigerator.
- Prepare caramelized onions: Place ingredients in pan on medium heat, stir often until crust forms, golden brown, fragrant. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add celery; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds more. Remove from heat.
- Add millet to the pan, toss, and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add onion and grain mixture to the ground turkey and stir until combined; do not overmix. Form the mixture into 6 patties.
- Mix olive oil and maple syrup. Press crushed pecans onto the top of each patty, and brush with the maple-olive oil mixture.
- To grill: Oil the grill rack, and grill the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes per side, flipping gently to avoid breaking them. Garnish, and serve immediately!
- To cook on the stovetop: Coat a large nonstick skillet, preferably cast-iron, with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the patties, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until lightly browned but still juicy (the juices should run clear, not pink), about 4 minutes more. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 165° F.)
What is one of your “Best Thing I Ever Ate” dishes?