BLACK & BLUE PUB BURGERS WITH FIRECRACKER KETCHUP AND GRILLED ONIONS
6 (1/2-inch thick) slices sweet onion, such as Vidalia, Maui or Walla Walla
2 tablespoons Colavita extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup bottled ketchup
1 teaspoon seeded,. minced chipotle chilies from canned chipotles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons adobo sauce
2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Illinois bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1/3 cup drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
1/3 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
12 slices thick-cut black pepper bacon
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 slices white cheddar cheese
6 poppy-seed hamburger buns, split
1 1/2 cups baby spinach or arugula leaves
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
For onions, brush onion slices on both sides with oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place on grill; close grill. Cook until grill marks appear, turning, about 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer to medium bowl; toss with 1 tablespoon vinegar. Cover and keep warm.
For Firecracker Ketchup, mix ketchup, 2 teaspoons vinegar, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce in small bowl. Cover and chill.
For burgers, in large bowl combine chuck, blue cheese, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well and form into 6 patties. Sprinkle patties on both sides with 1 teaspoon black pepper. Chill for 30 minutes.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and wrap in foil to keep warm.
Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on the rack and cover the grill. Cook the patties, turning only once, until done to preference, 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. Place cheese slices on the patties during last 2 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
To assemble burgers, spread bun bottoms with Firecracker Ketchup. Top with burgers, grilled onions, 2 bacon slices and spinach. Top with top half of rolls. Makes 6 burgers