Aired September 10, 2007
1 cup cornmeal
1 to 2 teaspoons (about a palmful) smoked chipotle powder
1 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
1 cup buttermilk
1 large sweet onion, sliced quarter-inch thick and pulled apart into rings
1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup aged sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (the sharper the better!)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
2 to 3 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
5 to 6 Kosher dill pickles, chopped
Preheat your oven to 425 F and heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
In the skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, 4-5 minutes, then set aside to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the fat rendered from the bacon in the skillet to cook the burgers in.
While the bacon is crisping, combine the cornmeal and chipotle powder in a bowl with high sides. Set up two more small bowls with high sides, filling one with the flour and other with the buttermilk. Dip the onion rings first in the buttermilk, then dredge them in the flour, tossing them lightly in your hands to remove any excess. Dip them once again in the buttermilk, and finally coat them completely with the cornmeal mixture. Place the dredged rings on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy, about 20 minutes.
While the onion rings are baking, place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Season it with salt and pepper, and add the mustard. Work the meat with your hands to incorporate the seasoning. Divide the meat into 4 equal parts and form patties out of each portion, making a well in the center of each one. Fill the well of each burger with some of the crisped bacon and 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Then carefully form the burger around the cheese and bacon filling, making sure the fillings are completely covered with the meat.
When all the patties are done, drizzle the EVOO into the skillet the bacon was cooked in, and place each burger into the pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook burgers 7-8 minutes longer, turning occasionally. Do not press down on the burgers as they cook.
Serve each burger on a bed of lettuce and tomato. Top each burger with pickles and a few crispy onion rings.