3-CHEESE BACON BURGERS WITH TANGY-TOMATO SPREAD
1 cup chunky red salsa
1 cup sour cream
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon horseradish
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and finely minced
6 (4″ round) sesame seed hamburger buns, split
3 pounds ground chuck
3 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoons butter, frozen
vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
6 romaine lettuce leaves, folded to fit the bun
6 large tomato slices, 1/4″ thick
6 very thin red onion slices
12 slices bacon, cooked crisp
To prepare the tangy-tomato spread, combine the salsa and the sour cream in a small mixing bowl. Cover and keep chilled until ready to assemble the burgers.
To prepare the cheese disks, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon, add the cheddar cheese, blue cheese, and horseradish. Shape into 6 disks 5-inches in diameter. Cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled.
To prepare the buns, combine the room temperature butter and garlic in a small mixing bowl. Evenly spread the butter mixture over the cut side of each hamburger bun. Cover and set aside.
To prepare the patties, place the ground chuck, paprika, oregano, cumin, sugar, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Grate the frozen butter over the meat mixture. Lightly toss everything together with a fork, trying not to overwork the meat. Divide the meat into 6 equal portions. Form into patties 5 inches in diameter; making a slight indentation in the center so that the burgers cook evenly. Place the patties on a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and keep cool until ready to grill.
Preheat a gas grill, with a cover, to medium-high heat.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the burgers in the center of the hot grill, cover and cook, turning once, for 3 minutes on each side for medium. During the last 5 minutes of grilling, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edge of the grill rack. During the last minute of cooking, place one cheese disk on each burger. Cover and continue to grill until the buns are toasted and the cheese melts. Remove the burgers and the buns from the grill.
To assemble the burgers, coat the toasted side of each bun with the tangy-tomato spread. Place a romaine lettuce leaf on each the roll bottom. Top with a burger; then a tomato slice, 1 onion slice, and 2 slices of bacon. Finally place the top portion of the buns and serve immediately.
Makes 6 burgers.