Thursday, January 21, 2016

Awesome Asian Turkey Sliders

...with a side of Sesame Rainbow Slaw

Not too excited about ground turkey? Get over it - the taste of these delicious Asian sliders might be reason enough to fill the freezer with this healthy protein. Healthy? Turkey contains vitamins B-6 and B-12, niacin, choline, selenium and zinc. That is good to know, but our attention was on the palate-pleasing flavor when these cuties hit the tastebuds. Lime, sugar, fish sauce, basil and garlic meld nicely with the turkey into a delicious Asian bite, one that easily handled the heat from any added sriracha and jalapenos. The generous handful of apple matchsticks provided a welcome crunch to the otherwise soft sandwich.   

Every bit of kitchen island and sink countertop showed signs of action during dinner prep. The dozen plus slider ingredients, and even more for the slaw, called for a lot of chopping, mixing and tossing. Still, dinner came together surprisingly quickly as each major component was prepped and set aside.
   *slice and marinate the apples
   *mix the basil mayonnaise
   *season and form the meat patties or meatballs
   *slice, chop and mix the slaw vegetables
   *whisk the slaw dressing, add to the slaw veggies and toss

Chef de Cuisine Hilary adapted this delicious dish from two recipes she found in the Nov. and Dec. 2015 issues of Shape magazine. Colorful, imaginative and fully loaded with sweet/hot/citrusy/tangy flavors, her turkey sliders were a fiesta on the plate and in the mouth. We politely nibbled the first bites of apple-topped sliders-with-slaw:  bite... pause... register the taste... smile! Mmmmm, yes, we each inhaled the rest of our first slider in another bite or two and hurried back to the stove for more. 

We are eager for another Asian slider dinner, soon please (especially if Hilary cooks).These sliders would make a festive party appetizer as well, with a large batch cooked and held in an electric skillet or on a warming tray. Anyone for a party?

Asian Turkey Sliders
serves 4

Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 crisp apple, cored & cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (Best Foods)
2 Tablespoons Gourmet Garden basil paste concentrate, divided
1 pound ground turkey
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup water
Sweet Hawaiian rolls, (or mini slider buns) split
Hot sauce, (Sriracha, etc) to taste
*Sesame Rainbow Slaw (recipe below)

1. Use a medium bowl to mix lime juice, sugar and 2 teaspoons fish sauce. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add apple machsticks; toss to coat and set aside.

2. Use a small bowl to blend together the mayonnaise and 1 Tablespoon of the basil paste; set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix together by hand ground turkey, garlic, remaining 1 Tablespoon fish sauce, remaining 1 Tablespoon basil paste and lime zest. Shape into 8-12 meatballs or fat patties slightly wider than the slider buns..

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown meatballs over medium heat until browned on all sides, about 10 min.

5. Drain the apple mixture; add the liquid to the skillet with the meatballs. Add water; bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits from the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and liquid reduces into a clingy glaze, about 8 min.

6. Spread basil mayonnaise on buns, top with apples and glazed meatballs. Serve with a side of Rainbow Sesame Slaw and offer optional hot sauce and jalapeno slices on the side.

Rainbow Sesame Slaw

2 cups packaged broccoli slaw
2 cups red cabbage, cut in 1/4-inch strips
3 large red, orange & yellow bell peppers, cut in 1/4-inch strips
4 scallions, diagonally sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup peanuts, chopped or minced
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons sliced pickled ginger, minced (optional)

3 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon low-sodium Tamari
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon chile paste (more or less to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Use a large bowl and toss together the solids, broccoli slaw through ginger (if using). 

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.

Add the dressing to the mixed slaw; toss gently to combine. If making ahead, toss occasionally to recoat the slaw and redistribute the dressing.

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