All-American Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers

Wine Varietal: Pinot Grigio

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Ingredients:

Maple-Pecan Cornbread Stuffing
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups crumbled cornbread
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 large egg, beaten
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cranberry Compote Butter
1 1/4 cups sweetened dried cranberries, soaked in hot water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Patties
1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 lb. pork sausage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
6 potato buns, split
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 1/2 cups packed baby spinach leaves

Instructions:

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the Maple-Pecan Cornbread Stuffing, heat pecans in a large heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill, and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden; remove from skillet and set aside. Return skillet to grill and melt 3 tablespoons butter; stir in onion and celery, and cook 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and golden. Scrape melted butter and onion-celery mixture into a medium bowl; stir in toasted pecans, cornbread, chicken stock, egg, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.

To make the Cranberry Compote Butter, process cranberries in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 4 tablespoons butter, honey, orange zest, ginger and cinnamon, and process until well combined.; transfer to a bowl and cover.

To make the patties, in a large bowl, add turkey, sausage, sage, Worcestershire, poultry seasoning, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible; form into 6 thin patties. Remove stuffing from refrigerator and form into 6 balls. Place a ball of stuffing on each patty, and wrap meat around to cover completely; press down to flatten back into a patty.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7minutes on each side or until cooked through. Evenly place the cheese on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, in a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice until combined; add spinach and toss until combined. Evenly divide and spread the cranberry-compote butter over cut sides of warm buns; divide spinach onto each bun bottom, and cover with a cheese-topped patty. Add the roll tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers

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