Smokey chipotle peppers and sweet honey come together in this cranberry sauce!
It’s quick, easy and bursting with flavor!
My family and I had the privilege of meeting a couple of celebrities. Who are these celebrities, you ask? They were two plump turkeys from Cooper Farms. Yes my friends, we had the pleasure of meeting this year’s pardoned turkeys. Not everyone can say they’ve met a famous turkey: I can officially say I met two!
I have a little history lesson for you. Our country’s turkey pardoning tradition has been going on since 1873, when Grant was president. Back then it was one man’s job to pick out the perfect turkey for the president. How’s that for pressure? This was a job he held for more than 25 years before the reins were passed on to the National Turkey Federation.
Each year the chairman of the National Turkey Federation provides the turkey for the president. This year’s chairman is Gary Cooper from Cooper Farms in Mercer County, Ohio. Gary and his son Cole take this job very seriously. So seriously, that they even built a special barn for the presidential flock so their health and growth can be closely monitored. The birds are warm, comfortable, with lots of room to roam, plenty of feed and water. Cole spent countless hours socializing the birds and training them for their big day. These are some pampered turkeys! They are getting quite the tour too! Gary and Cole have made a point of talking turkey to schools all over the state. Nearly 3000 children have been introduced to this special flock!
While I certainly enjoyed strutting around with the turkeys, I enjoyed my time with the Cooper family even more. Cooper Farms has been going strong for 75 years. It started simply enough as a small turkey hatchery. Today they watch over all stages of life from the eggs to the meat processing. They are few family owned and determined to keep it that way. What I felt the most in their presence was their sense of pride, their passion for what they do, the care they take to give us the best product possible and the respect they have for their employees or team members as they are known.
As a consumer, it was comforting knowing that the deli meat, the turkey burgers and sausage I buy at the stores I frequent come from Cooper Farms. How often do I get to meet the faces behind my food! I purchase so many products blindly without knowing exactly where they came from, but to hear the story behind this family and their turkeys was an important reminder that farmers, be in grain, corn, animal, dairy or vegetable all have a very important place in our life. They are run by real people who care about what they do. I am happy my children got to be a part of this experience.
The National Turkey Federation website is a great resource if you want to learn more about the turkey industry, turkey facts and even tips on cooking the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey! Turkey is a fabulous substitute for other proteins in many recipes. I personally substitute ground turkey for beef in tacos, burgers, and chili recipes. Recipes and nutritional information can also be found on the National Turkey Federation website.
The Presidential Turkeys will be headed to the White House in a week. Unfortunately, the two birds have not yet been name! The Ohio Poultry association needs your help in giving these two birds a real identity! Pick two names and enter them here. Winners will randomly be selected and sent off to the White House for consideration (I’ve already sent mine in and I think they are going to win)!
Now about this recipe: cranberry sauce pairs with turkey like gravy pairs with potatoes! I jazzed up my cranberry sauce just a bit. I used fresh cranberries since they are only available for a short time, however frozen will do nicely. I added smokey chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, a splash of orange juice, honey and cumin to this sauce as well. It is only subtly spicy yet incredibly fresh and light. It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare! Quick sides are a must for Thanksgiving, right? I placed this piquant sauce atop lettuce, onions and juicy turkey burgers. These burgers were found at Costco, they are Kirkland brand and they come directly from Cooper Farm! Cooper Farms serves many private labels (please visit their website for more information). The cranberry sauce would liven up any turkey sandwich but would work well with creamy Brie as an appetizer. Of course, it’s just fine on it’s own!
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 8 slices onion
- 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 Kaiser rolls
- 2 tablespoon mayo
- 1 clove garlic, minced.
- 4 frozen turkey burgers (I used Kirkland brand from Costco)
For the cranberry sauce
- 1 12 oz bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
- In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, water, orange juice, honey and chipotle pepper. Cook mixture over medium heat. Allow cranberries to come to a boil. Cranberries will begin to pop; stir in cumin and salt. Reduce heat and let mixture cook down and thicken, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Meanwhile, cook burgers according to package directions. Top burgers with cheese and cook an additional minute or until cheese has melted. Remove.
- Combine mayo and garlic in a small bowl. Place a teaspoon of mayo on each half of each bun. Top bottom buns with burgers, onions and spinach. Place a generous amount of cranberry sauce on each burger. Serve. (You will have lots of leftover cranberry sauce)
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1026Total Fat 51gSaturated Fat 17gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 29gCholesterol 151mgSodium 1231mgCarbohydrates 101gFiber 7gSugar 57gProtein 44g