Blue Cheese Smokehouse Burger

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


Blue Cheese Butter
2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 C. chopped green onion
2 pounds ground beef
1/4 C. bread crumbs
1 T. milk
2 t. salt
2 t. ground white pepper
2 t. garlic powder
2 T. liquid smoke flavoring
10 oz. worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. Sutter Home Zinfandel
Vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
6 soft kaiser rolls, split
1 1/2 C. baby spinach leaves
6 (1/4 inch thick)large tomato slices
12 California avocado slices



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium heat. To make the blue cheese butter, combine the butter, blue cheese and chopped green onion and mix well. Set aside. To make the patties, combine beef, bread crumbs and milk. Chill your hands under cold running water, then working as quickly and gently as possible so as not to bruise or heat the meat, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form patties to fit the rolls. To make the marinade, combine salt, pepper, garlic, liquid smoke flavoring, worcestershire sauce and zinfandel. Brush the grill rack with oil. Dip each patty into marinade and then place it on the rack. Cover and grill until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Baste with marinade and turn patties. Baste again and continue grilling until desired degree of doneness, about 4 to 5 minutes. During the last minutes of cooking, top each patty with one heaping tablespoon of blue cheese butter and cover grill until mostly melted. Place rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread blue cheese butter on cut side on the rolls. On each roll bottom, place 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves, a patty, a tomato slice, and two avocado slices. Add the roll tops and serve.