Black Eyed Pea & Country Ham “Sunday Dinner” Burgers
This burger is inspired by the abundance of local country ham in the Smithfield region of Virginia.I have combined it with black eyed peas and smoked gouda (inspired by the smoked gouda grits) which were often present at our Sunday night family dinners growing up. The cranberry flecked mayonnaise was inspired by the slightly sweet, yet tart congealed salad that complimented the saltiness of the ham and always rounded out the meal.
1 ¼-inch thick cut slice of country ham
2 Cans Black Eyed Peas (approx. 14-15 ounces), rinsed and drained well and dried
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 slices from large ripe red heirloom tomato
6 slices ¼” thick smoked gouda cheese, cut to fit burger
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup whole cranberry sauce, homemade or from can
6 kaiser rolls split horizontally
IN A GRILL prepare a medium-hot fire.
PLACE ham slice on grill and cook, turning, until cooked through (approximately 2-3 minutes per side, depending on heat level). Transfer to cutting board, remove any fat then finely chop.
MASH peas in large bowl and add chopped ham, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Form into six patties. Coat grill basket with oil then cook burgers for approximately 5-7 on each side. Top with tomato then with cheese. Place bread beside burgers, cut side down, then cover grill to melt cheese and lightly toast bread.
STIR together mayonnaise and cranberry sauce in small bowl then spread onto top bun. Place burgers on bottom bun. Top with top bun.