Apple Country Burgers
When we were growing up in the state of Washington my two brothers and I picked Delicious apples by the bushel!And we ate apples prepared every which way. This Burger recipe includes sliced apples, along with walnuts, blue cheese and other wonderful ingredients. It is a tribute to the Pacific Northwest, albeit with twist, but your taste buds will love you!
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper, ground
30 drops Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup apple juice
Walnut-Blue Cheese Spread:
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup Treasure Cave Blue Cheese
1/2 cup Chinese-style Duck Sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Sliced Apple Topping:
1 Tablespoon Colavita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Red Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and sliced horizontally 1/4″ thick, yielding 12 slices (if any left over, have a snack).
1/2 large red onion, diced
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper, ground
3 tablespoons vegetable oil to brush on grill
1/3 cup Colavita Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 – 5″ Kaiser Rolls
6 – crisp Romaine leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high.
To make the Patties: combine the chuck, salt, pepper, Pepper Sauce, cilantro and apple juice in a large bowl. Handling as little as possible, shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
To make the Spread: heat a large, heavy non-stick fireproof skillet on the grill. Add the walnuts to the skillet and toast until golden. Take the skillet off the grill and place the walnuts into a medium bowl. Add the blue cheese, duck sauce and mustard. Using a fork stir vigorously until well blended. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside.
To make the Topping: place the same skillet back on the grill. Add the olive oil and, when warmed, place the apple slices in the skillet, adding the onions, honey, apple juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently. Turn the apples after 5 minutes and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, stirring gently, until tender but not mushy. Remove from heat, leave in skillet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Set aside.
Grilling the Patties: brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil (it should be medium-high as with previous use). Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Turn the patties and cook, covered, for another 5-7 minutes for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking the patties, brush olive oil on the cut sides of the buns and toast on the outer perimeters of the grill until lightly browned. Remove from grill to two separate plates.
To assemble the Burgers: divide the Spread evenly on the 6 bun bottoms. Layer the romaine pieces on the Spread. Place a patty on top of the romaine followed by two apple slices with the onions (using a spatula) and the bun top. Use skewers to hold the Burger in place, if desired, and serve.