APPLE BURGER WITH MERLOT BLUE CHEESE MAYONNAISE, PEPPER BACON and BABY SPINACH
My home state, Washington State is known for its apples.I created a burger to capture the apples offset with a rustic (salty) blue cheese mayonnaise and complemented with Merlot Wine to bring out the fruit. Enjoy my Apple Burger that truly represents local ingredients from my home State of Washington.
Merlot Blue Cheese Mayonnaise:
1 1/4 cups Mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 Tablespoons Sutter Home Merlot
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Granny smith apples, skin removed, core removed, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Sutter Home Merlot
2 1/4 pounds chuck, 80/20
Add all the Apple Sauté (from the above recipe)
2 Tablespoon Sutter Home Merlot
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
12 slices pepper bacon
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil, for brushing the grill rack and buns.
6 brioche buns, split
2 cups of Baby spinach, rinsed clean, divided equal
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the Merlot Blue Cheese Mayonnaise, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, heavy cream, sour cream, Merlot, lemon zest, salt and ground pepper until smooth. Next gently stir in the crumbled blue cheese. Set aside in a refrigerator.
To make the Apple Sauté, place a medium fireproof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Next add the apples, garlic, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, and salt. Stir together and sauté for 1 to 3 minutes. Add the Merlot and cook for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the grill and cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Place large iron skillet on the rack to preheat for the bacon.
To cook the bacon, Place the bacon in the preheated iron skillet. Cook the bacon until crisp about 5 to 7 minutes a side. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towels. Cover the bacon with aluminum foil and keep warm. Remove the skillet from the grill.
To prepare the patties, In a large bowl, place the chuck, Apple sauté, Merlot, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Gently mix together using a large spoon. Form into 6 patties with a thumb dimple in the center of each patty and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 5
minutes. Turn the patties, cover and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. During the last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling the patties, brush the buns with olive oil and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack and toast lightly to golden brown.
To assemble the burger, slather the bottom toasted side of the buns with some of the Merlot Blue Cheese Mayonnaise. Place the equally divided Baby Spinach on each bottom bun and add the patty. On top of each patty place 2 slices of bacon and a large dollop of the Merlot Blue Cheese Mayonnaise. Add the toasted bun top with wooden skewers and serve immediately.
Makes 6 burgers.