Cheese-Filled Zin Burgers with Cherry Pepper Mayonnaise
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 cups Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup canned, pitted, red tart cherries, drained
2 cups real mayonnaise
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) Mozzarella cheese, grated
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 good quality hamburger buns
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 green bell pepper rings, thinly sliced
6 red bell pepper rings, thinly sliced
18 small purple onion rings, very thinly sliced
Soak the dried tart cherries in the Sutter Home Zinfandel for about 20 minutes. Set aside to use when preparing the Cherry Pepper Mayonnaise.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To prepare the Zin Sauce, pour the Zinfandel into a 10 inch, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet. Add the brown sugar and the spicy brown mustard. Mix well with a wire whisk. Place the sauce on the grill rack and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until reduced to approximately 2/3 cup. This should take about 30 minutes. Set aside.
To prepare the Cherry Pepper Mayonnaise, drain the dried cherries that have soaked in the Zinfandel. Do not discard the Zinfandel, but sip and enjoy as you complete the recipe. Finely mince the soaked cherries and place in a food processor. Add the drained, canned cherries. Pulse a few seconds to chop and mix all the cherries. Add the mayonnaise, pepper, and thyme to the cherry mixture. Process until all ingredients are blended.
To make the patties, mix the Monterey Jack and Mozzarella cheeses together in a medium brown and divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Combine the sirloin, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, mixing well. Divide the meat mixture into 12 equal portions. Form one meat portion into a thin patty. Place one portion of the cheese mixture in the center of the patty. Spread the cheese, but do not allow it to extend to the margins of the patty. Form a second meat portion into a thin patty and press on top of the cheese and first patty. Pinch and form the edges of the patty to seal in the cheese. Repeat to make the five remaining cheese-filled patties.
Lightly coat both sides of patties with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil to prevent sticking. Place patties on the grill rack and baste with Zin Sauce. Close grill cover and grill for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. Turn patties and baste with Zin Sauce. Close grill cover and grill about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn patties, rotating 90 degrees to create perpendicular grill marks. Baste with Zin Sauce. Close cover and grill about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn patties again rotating 90 degrees to create perpendicular grill marks on both sides of the patty. Baste with Zin Sauce. During the last few minutes of grilling, slice the buns and brush cut sides with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Place the buns, cut sides down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. Continue to grill patties until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Remove patties from grill rack and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
To assemble the burgers, liberally coat cut sides of the buns with the Cherry Pepper Mayonnaise. Place one patty on the bottom half of each bun. Arrange 1 green pepper ring, 1 red pepper ring, and 3 purple onion rings on each patty. Place a 1 tablespoon dollop of Cherry Pepper Mayonnaise on top of the vegetable rings. Add the bun tops and secure with skewers.