Hey guys!! I’m so happy you came back to see me. I have to tell you, I had a ball Saturday night. One of my closest friends popped over for dinner and back-to-back episodes of one of our new favorite shows. Have you guys ever seen Looking? My bestie turned me on to the show and now I am a true blue fan (especially while I wait for Game of Thrones to come on back… I wonder how Tyrion’s doing in that crate…).
Anyway, Looking is one of the best shows on right now. It’s basically about gay men looking for love in San Francisco. But the show highlights real parts of life- awkwardness, rare irreplaceable moments of happiness and utter sadness/defeat. Whether you’re gay or straight, you will definitely fall in love with Patty and his gang of loveable friends.
Fair warning (one I did not get)- some scenes can be intense. I would advise covering your eyes with oven mitts from time to time if you blush like me lol. However Russell Tovey is one of the main characters (and my man crush) so que sera sera. I mean between those awesome ears and Brit accent, I would watch him in anything. Did I mention he was also on Doctor Who? Clearly, we are a match made in gay heaven.
So because I really wanted to get the marathon started, I devised a fast dinner that would also be easy to gobble in between the laughter and glasses of wine we shared the better part of the evening…
Super easy to cook and definitely full of flavor, the Mango Basil Turkey Sliders were a big hit with my main platonic squeeze. This recipe can be tailored for any get together or as an easy lunch and dinner option during the workweek. Give these babies a try, but also give Looking a try too… if for no other reason than Russell Tovey’s fantastic ears.
To begin, place your ground turkey into a mixing bowl.
Rinse and dice the basil. Take 1 hearty tablespoon of basil and put into a mixing bowl. Put the remaining basil aside for now.
Add 1/3 a cup of mango. Make sure to dice your mango very small. You want the mango pieces to nestle into the burgers like the pic below. Now add 1/3 a cup onion (diced just as small as the mango), salt, and pepper. Using your hands, knead the meat together until fully mixed.
In the palm of your hand, shape the mixed meat into 1-inch patties.
Now fry some heavenly bacon!!!! In a medium skillet, place your bacon stripes flat. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes for about 8- 10 minutes. Flip frequently and cook until golden brown.
Once finished, place the bacon on a plate or cooling rack covered with a paper towel.
Lightly coat the same skillet with 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil and remove any excess. Place the skillet back over medium heat.
**The oil and any remaining bacon grease may sizzle a bit, but should not pop. If it begins to pop, reduce your heat and continue cooking. If you're worried about the oil splatter, spray olive oil works perfectly too!
Place 6 sliders into your pan and cover.
Like with the meatballs in the Italian Wedding Soup, cooking meatballs or sliders is not a perfect science. Make sure to check the bottom of the patty frequently. You want to cook the burgers covered so the heat can cook through but keep the juices intact. Make sure, you have a golden brown sear on each side.
**I prefer a crispier sear, so I allow the burgers to cook slightly darker on each side.
After 3-5 minutes, flip the burger to the opposite side and give a slight squish with a spatula. This helps slightly flatten the swollen patties to make them easier to place on a bun. Don’t squish too much because you want the burgers to stay petite and keep the juices in tact.
When another 3-5 minutes has passed, uncover the skillet and allow any remaining juices to cook off (evaporate). Flip frequently during this time. It's purely optional, but I prefer to put cheese on the burgers while they are in the skillet and cover to let the cheese melt slightly (turn off your burner or on an extremely low temperature, so you do not burn the patties). You can also add the cheese to the hot burgers while they are on the cooling rack.
Sprinkle a little lemon juice on the burgers and let the cooked burgers rest on a cooling rack. Before placing the next set of burgers, remove any mango chunks that may have come loose during cooking.
While your burgers are cooking, put the remaining cup of diced mango, 5 sprigs of basil, and 1/4 cup of diced onion into the food processor. Process for 1 minute. Stop the processor and scoop mixture from the sides to make sure you have an even puree at the end. Add 1/2 cup of mayo and 1 hearty handful of kale. Taste as you go! You want the aioli to be mango-y sweet and basil-y fresh lol.
Pulse in the processor on high for another minute or until fulled blended/pureed. Squeeze half the juice of a lemon into the bowl and use a spoon to fold the aioli together one last time before removing from the food processor.
Slice your buns and toast on a hot skillet. I flipped every 10-20 seconds so not to burn the rolls.
If you prefer, toast your buns in a preheated oven on 350 degrees for 3 minutes. Place the buns directly on the oven rack and flip 1- 1/2 minutes through.
Slather your aioli onto the bottom of the bun. Then add the burger, cheese, turkey bacon, and the top bun.