Bloody Mary Brunch Burgers with Truffled Goat Cheese Hash Brown Cakes
Bloody Mary Spread:
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1/4 cup organic ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
6 large green olives stuffed with pimiento
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon red tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
12 slices applewood smoked bacon
1 medium cucumber
1/4 cup vodka (substitute 1/4 cup Italian white wine vinegar for an alcohol-free option)
1 large tomato
Truffled Goat Cheese Hash Brown Cakes:
3 large russet potatoes
2 lemon slices
2 teaspoons canola oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
non-stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons white truffle flavored extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces chevre goat cheese, cut into 6 equal discs
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage (preferably hot, but mild is OK, do not use maple flavored)
1/3 cup fresh fennel bulb, white part only, finely chopped
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
canola oil for brushing grill rack
6 English muffins, split (preferably whole wheat)
4 tablespoons Irish salted butter, softened
Prepare the Bloody Mary spread. Place the cream cheese, ketchup and horseradish in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a general purpose chopping blade. Coarsely chop the green olives and add to the bowl. Add the worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, celery salt and black pepper and process just until all the ingredients are blended. You should still see larger pieces of green olive. Transfer the spread to a small bowl. Cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise. In a large flame-proof skillet, cook the applewood smoked bacon over medium/high heat until just crisp. Drain on paper towels, then wrap in tin foil and keep warm.
While bacon is cooking, prepare the cucumbers and tomatoes. Peel the cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Draw a vegetable peeler lengthwise from end to end to form thin ribbons. Place the cucumber ribbons in a small bowl and toss with half of the vodka. Remove a thin slice from the top and bottom of the tomato then slice the rest of the tomato into six 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay them in a small, shallow dish and sprinkle them with the remaining vodka. Cover both with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place a large cast iron skillet on the grill and set the temperature to high heat. Peel the potatoes and run them through a food processor using a medium sized grating blade attachment. Soak the grated potatoes in a large bowl of cold water with two lemon slices for 5 minutes. Swish them around with your hands to remove excess starch and discard the lemon slices then drain as much water as possible by using a salad spinning device. Line a large cookie sheet with several layers of paper towels and spread the grated potatoes out on top. Press down on them with more paper towels to absorb any remaining water then let the potatoes air dry for about 10 minutes. Transfer the dried potatoes to a large mixing bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons of canola oil then season with sea salt and black pepper. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the grill and set six 3 1/2 inch diameter pastry rings on top. Being careful not to spray near the grill flame, generously coat both the skillet surface and the pastry rings with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each ring with 1/2 cup of shredded potatoes and return the skillet to the grill. Cook for 10 minutes, then, using tongs, lift away the pastry rings and gently flip the hash browns over and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until both sides are crispy and browned. Drizzle each hash brown cake with 1 teaspoon of white truffle oil and place one goat cheese disc on top. Move the skillet to a low heat side of the grill to keep warm.
While the hash browns cook, prepare the mixture for the patties. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork and pork sausage. Finely chop the fennel, onion and shallots and add them to the bowl. Add the fennel seed, sea salt and black pepper and gently mix to combine. Shape into six equal round patties about 4 inches in diameter.
Preheat one side of the grill to medium/hot. When ready to cook, brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the patties over direct heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then flip and cook for 5-7 minutes more. Lightly spread the cut sides of the English muffins with butter and place them cut-side down on the grill to toast for about 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted muffins to a warm platter and spread the cut side of each muffin bottom half with 1/6 of the Bloody Mary spread. For each burger, lay 4 bacon halves on top of the spread, then place one slice of marinated tomato and mound 1/6 of the marinated cucumber ribbons on top of the bacon. Place one pork patty on top of the cucumber and set one truffled hash brown cake on top of each patty. Top each burger with an English muffin top half and serve.