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Chef Jon Ashton Turkey Burger

Summertime Grilling at its Finest, Coming Right Up

We can almost hear the sizzle of the grill as we prep the pantry for this week’s episode of Sunday Cooking with Chef Jon Ashton. As Crystal@Home continues to explore virtually, your own backyard (or kitchen cast-iron skillet) can transport you to those lazy sunny afternoons relaxing at Trident Grill aboard Crystal ships, classic burgers and cold beverages in hand. Of course, Chef Jon Ashton’s turkey burger recipe is packed with the complex flavors that make such afternoons special occasions unto themselves – melding the boldness of soy sauce, ginger, parmesan and pepper into what is certain to become your signature grill go-to. Even the condiments have a kick. Pickled cucumbers and Chef Jon’s special sauce take the whole experience to a new level that will impress friends and family at your next bar-be-que get-together.

For a more straightforward, classic burger, Chef Jon’s smash burger will make all of your cheese-and-bacon-filled culinary dreams come true. Juicy, savory and fun to make, this relatively simple recipe packs a world of flavor into each bite.

Whichever style of burger suits your tastes, we recommend trying both for the perfect summer weekend cookout. It’s always best to have as many delicious choices as possible, after all. Gather your ingredients and join Chef Jon Ashton in the kitchen and cook along LIVE this Sunday, July 5 at 3 p.m. ET on the Crystal Facebook page.

Turkey Burgers with Pickled Cucumbers and Special Sauce 
By Chef Jon Ashton


1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
16 ounces ground turkey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch table salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 hamburger buns, toasted

Optional garnish: 

Sliced avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickles

Special sauce:

1/4 cup mayo 
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic puree

Pickled cucumber:

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup distilled white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic puree
2 cups English cucumbers, thinly sliced


For pickled cucumbers: 

30 minutes prior to topping turkey burgers, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and garlic. Place in fridge. 

For special sauce: 

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together, taste for seasoning. Place in fridge. 

Make burgers:

Combine water and baking soda in small bowl. Place turkey in large bowl. Drizzle baking soda mixture evenly over turkey followed by soy sauce and melted butter. Evenly sprinkle panko breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, parmesan, gelatin, pepper and salt over mixture. Using your hands, gently mix to combine, trying not to over work the mixture.

Divide meat into 4 portions about 4 ounces each. Gently flatten each portion into patties about ½ inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter. 

Add oil to large cold skillet and add burgers. Heat skillet over medium heat. When patties start to sizzle, cover skillet with a lid or foil and cook until burgers are well browned on bottom about 2½ minutes Carefully flip patties cover and continue to cook until second side is browned and burgers register 160 degrees F (2½ to 3 minutes longer). 

Transfer burgers to plate and let rest for 3 minutes then transfer to buns and serve.

Smear some sauce on the bottom of each toasted bun, top with a burger, then layer on the avocado, lettuce, tomato and pickles.

Serves 4 

Smash Burger with Bacon & Cheese 


1 lb. very cold ground beef
Potato buns (such as Martin’s)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 slices cooked thick-cut bacon, broken in half
4 slices cheese


Divide meat into 4 portions, about 4 ounces each.

Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium-low heat until warm.

Brush cut sides of buns with butter. Place buns cut side down on griddle. Toast 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. 

Increase heat to medium. Sprinkle 1 side of each of the beef patties generously with salt and a pinch of pepper. Place seasoned side down on griddle. Top with a piece of parchment or wax paper. Using a sturdy metal spatula, firmly smash each patty into a ⅓-inch-thick slab. Pressing down on spatula with another stiff spatula helps flatten the burger quickly. Let cook for 30-60 seconds and remove parchment paper. Season top with another generous pinch of salt and small pinch of pepper. 

Cook 2 minutes or until edges beneath are brown and crisp and juices on surface are bubbling hot. Turn and cook 1 minute for medium or until desired degree of doneness. Top bottom half of each bun with 1 patty, 1 slice of cheese, 2 bacon slices and 1 bun top.

Serve with ketchup. 

Serves 4 

Crystal’s Crystal@Home: A Virtual Cruise Experience program brings several elements of the renowned Crystal Experience directly to guests, wherever in the world they are. “Sunday Cooking with Chef Jon Ashton” represents the culinary excellence found aboard Crystal ships, as some of the greatest travel memories are created over the greatest meals.

Crystal invites travelers to book now and save with added peace of mind and flexibility as we look ahead to sailing together again.

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Posted on January 26, 2018