CHI-TOWN CHEESEBURGERS WITH WINE-BRAISED FIGS, GOAT CHEESE SPREAD AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS & PEPPERS
My love of burgers helped me to scale new heights by creating this burger.I made use of a wide range of ingredients available in supermarkets and gourmet food stores by combining fresh ingredients with layers of flavor. Most of the prep work can be done ahead of time. The quality of the rolls should be fresh and substantial.
GOAT CHEESE SPREAD
1/2 cup goat cheese (Chevre)
1/3 cup garlic and fine herbs spreadable cheese
2 tablespoons pitted calamata olives, finely chopped
CARAMELIZED ONIONS & PEPPERS
3 tablespoons Colavita extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, halved, seeded, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
WINE BRAISED FIGS
6 fresh figs, stemmed and sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup Sutter Home Pinot Grigio
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 cup drained, chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Tabasco pepper sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
8-ounces Manchego cheese, shaved
6 good-quality soft seeded Kaiser rolls, split
6 butter or green leaf lettuce leaves
1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
2. To make the spread, combine goat cheese and spreadable cheese in a small bowl. Stir in olives; cover and set aside.
3. To make the caramelized onions and peppers, heat the oil in a fire-proof skillet with a lid on the grill. Add onions, red peppers, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook onion mixture for 15 minutes, stir occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add balsamic vinegar; cook 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and keep warm.
4. To make wine braised figs, place figs and wine in a fire-proof skillet on grill. Simmer over medium-low heat until wine is reduced, turn once, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
5. For burgers, place sirloin, chuck, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato oil, thyme, garlic, pepper sauce and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the rolls and chill until ready to grill.
6. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. Place equal amounts of Manchego cheese on the patties during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Cover and allow cheese to melt. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during last 2 minutes of grilling.
7. To assemble the burgers, spread the goat cheese spread over the cut sides of the roll bottoms. Place a lettuce leaf and equal portions of the caramelized onion mixture on each roll bottom, followed by a cheese-topped patty and equal amounts of fig slices. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers