Overcome by a sudden tug of domesticity, I decided stay in tonight to clean my room, the bathroom, AND cook! (And by tug of domesticity I mean I didn’t have any money left for the bar after diapers and new socks, since those damn toddlers socks are teeny and inevitably end up lost in the abyss known as my laundry room. Sometimes I surprise myself at how prioritized I am.) And so instead of drowning my sorrows, I cooked, then ate, my feelings. And what better combination than teriyaki turkey burgers and whole wheat blueberry waffles? Well, vodka and tonic, for one, but like I said, we’re broke round these parts.
So as I’ve said before, despite common error, I am not Hawaiian. However, my father was born and raised there, and basically the whole paternal side of family still lives there. For a short while when my brothers and sister and I were young, my dad’s parents lived with us and fed a lot of saimin and Spam. When my mom quit working to stay at home, they moved back and she took over the cooking. So most of what I remember eating growing up was a lot of chicken breast and spaghetti and meatballs. (I’m not knocking my mom’s cooking at all, she’s great, but before I really got into cooking I don’t remember much of what she made.) But when my parents separated when I was 12, my dad made us A Lot of teriyaki burgers. (That and chili with potatoes in it. Yeah I still don’t know.) Now I’m not saying he didn’t try, but ground beef mixed with sticky sweet teriyaki sauce and baked until gray just isn’t that appetizing. So this is how I do mine.
Instead of ground beef, I prefer to use 7% fat ground turkey. This is pretty much due to the fact that I can buy a three pound package of it for six bucks and change, rather than five-something for a pound of comprably lean beef. The 99% fat free ground turkey breat is gross to me–dry and flavorless. So I combine half of that package of turkey, probably about half a cup of bottled teriyaki sauce (you know, cause I’m authentic), and three green onions, chopped, obviously. Some chili flake wouldn’t be out of place here if you like that sort of thing, but as these were for both me and the kid, I skipped it this time. A minced clove of garlic wouldn’t be a bad idea either, but that really depends on the sauce that you use. The one I use is plenty garlic-y for me, so I skip that as well.
Be sure to use just the fingertips when combining everything. Too much man-handling will toughen things up. To form the patties, I do the whole Rachael Ray thing and score the meat into six even-ish sections. Its also a good idea to rinse your hands before patting out a section to keep the meat from sticking to you. I cook mine in a cast iron pan over medium 3-4 minutes on each side rather than baking in the oven. Call me crazy, but I prefer my food golden, brown, and delicious as opposed to gray. Be sure to watch your burgers though–there is most likely a lot of sugar in the teriyaki sauce, which can blacken quickly if the heat is too high. (In which case, just call it Ca-sian cooking. Hahahaha I’m so funny it hurts.)
So after the burgers were done and I had had just ONE (I swear), I was eating some blueberries and trying to figure out a way to use them up and went “WAFFLES!” For reals, guys, I totally was standing there with the fridge door open stuffing my face and had a “Eureka!” moment, except I said “Waffles!” Yeahhhh, so anyway, I make waffles a lot and freeze them, since they are an easy weekday breakfast for the kiddo and about a kajillion times tastier than the store bough frozen kind.
Adapted from Mr. Breakfast
1 1/3 cup flour*
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, separated
4 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 Tablespoons unsweeted applesauce
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
zest of one orange
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspons salt
6 ounces blueberries, fresh or frozen (If you bought your blueberries in a half pint, just use that. Or buy two half pints and eat the leftovers while your waffles are cooking.)
*I have used a variety of flours in this particular recipe. My favorite so far has been oat flour, but I was out, and used whole wheat. Using all whole grain flour can result in a somewhat gritty texture. This doesn’t bother either my kid or me, but if it does bug you, cut it 50/50 with all purpose flour. I just bought some whole wheat pastry flour which I suspect will be lovely next time around.
Stir together milk, eggs, butter, applesauce, zest, and vanilla. Ideally everything should be at room temperature, but no one is going to have a seizure if they’re not. Add flour and salt until just combined.
In a seperate bowl, whisk your two egg whites until soft peaks form. Again, ideally these are at room temp, but you should still be okay if they aren’t. Make sure you bowl is big enough for things to move around. If it’s not, you won’t be able to whip them around enough to pick up air without getting egg-y snot all over your counters. I used to be meringue imcompetent until made these waffles. Seriously, I’m totally telling the truth, the first time I ever got my whites to hold peaks was the first time I followed this recipe. So basically what I’m saying is YOU CAN DO IT!
Using your spatula, fold a third of the whites into the first bowl of stuff. You don’t need to be particularly careful at this point–we’re just lightening things up a bit. Add half the remaining whites, folding a bit more carefully from this point on. Add the last of the whites, and sprinkle over the baking powder. Fold until almost combined, then add the blueberries and fold until fully combined. Bake in your waffle iron of choice.
I get four waffles with this recipe, but it really depends on what waffle iron you’re using.
So that was my rockin Friday night. I didn’t go out but hey, I at least got a slight buzz off of cleaning products. (Totally kidding. That’s gross don’t huff! And open the door and window when you’re using three different heavy duty cleaners in your not-so-big bathroom!)