Wednesday, March 10, 2010

weekend dinner party

So how 'bout this weather, huh? I think the entire city of New York has sighed with relief that the snow and blistering cold has been at least temporarily put on hold in lieu of sunny skies and temperatures in the high 50's. (Read: happy, happy, no longer seasonally depressed girl.)

And although the sunshine is supposed to leave us with RAIN come this weekend (serious BOO to that), I figured it'd be best to maintain this chipper attitude by grilling up some burgers with friends and continuing on this spring-forward mentality. Burgers with a Spanish flare and a big ole pitcher of serious sangria, anyone?

Spring Forward (Por Favor)

Turkey Burgers with Smoked Paprika*, Manchego, Avocado, Red Onion, and Garlic-Lime Aioli
Orange and Fennel Salad
Kettle Chips
Red and White Wine Sangria (one of each to please all amigos)
*If you don't have Smoked Paprika, you can use some Chipotle in adobo. Chipotle will certainly pack some heat but in most cases, it's welcome.

For the Turkey Burgers combine ground turkey (I prefer the 93% lean) with a small grated onion, a clove or two of grated garlic, some chopped parsley, a generous sprinkle of smoked paprika (or a spoonful of chipotle), and some salt and pepper. Combine and form into patties. Throw these onto the grill, a grill pan, a regular skillet, or broil 'em in the oven. Whichever proves easiest for you. Top them with some thin slices of Manchego if you can swing it (or cheddar, monterey, american, whatever)

If you can find them, I'd suggest throwing these guys onto some Portuguese rolls (but kaiser rolls would work just as perfectly) with a little bit of lime-garlic aioli (mayo mixed with grated garlic and lemon zest/juice) and topping them with some avocado, red onion, whatever your favorite burger toppings are.

To serve up alongside these burgers, I'm seeing Valencia Oranges, so how about a simple orange and fennel salad? Thinly slice up a bulb or two of fennel, segment a few oranges, add in a few kalamata olives if you'd like and dress simply with a little white balsamic and good olive oil (and salt and pepper). A bag of kettle chips (I prefer Cape Cods!) and you're set with food.
For the sangria, thinly slice an orange and a lemon and dump them into the bottom of a large glass pitcher. Sprinkle about a 1/4 of sugar on top and with the a wooden spoon, gently mash the sugar into the citrus (think lemonade). Pour in about 1/3 cup of triple sec (or cointreau) and fill the pitcher up with red (or white) wine. Add in some thinly sliced green apple along with whatever other fruit and/or berries tickle your fancy. Possibilities are endless.

Pour up the sangria, turn on the Gipsy Kings, and start flipping those burgers. Your friends are in for a serious pseudo warm weather treat. Rain or shine.


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