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CRANBERRY TURKEY BACON BURGER

When I was growing up, my mother always made the most delicious post-Thanksgiving sandwiches with cranberry sauce, leftover turkey, and crisp bacon. In fact, the sandwich was so good that it left our usual Turkey day spread in the dust. What a shame to enjoy it only once a year. So I was inspired to create a burger that would keep those wonderful flavors alive all year long.

Ingredients 

Cranberry Mayonnaise

¾ cup mayonnaise made with olive oil
1/3 cup canned jellied cranberry sauce, mashed
2 tablespoons sweet onion, grated
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Patties

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
½ lb. Jimmy Dean regular pork sausage
1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup canned jellied cranberry sauce, mashed

12 strips thick-cut maple bacon

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack

6 Bibb lettuce leaves
6 (1/4 inch-thick) large tomato slices

6 good-quality potato hamburger buns, split

Instructions 

1. Preheat gas grill to medium-high.

2. To make cranberry mayonnaise, combine mayo, cranberry sauce, onion, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix well; cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

3. To prepare patties, combine ground turkey, pork sausage, poultry seasoning, black pepper, diced onion, and cranberry sauce in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 equal oval patties to fit the buns. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

4. Cook the bacon in a fire-proof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat until browned. Drain on paper towels to remove excess grease. Set aside.

5. Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the edges of the rack to toast lightly.

6. To assemble the burgers, spread an even amount of cranberry mayo on top and bottom of each bun. Place a leaf of Bibb lettuce, a tomato slice, a patty, and 2 bacon slices on bottom of bun. Cover with top half of bun and serve immediately.

MAKES 6 SERVINGS.