CORRECTED Orange and Bleu Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburger with Sweet and Spicy Bell Pepper Relish and Roasted Garlic Mayo

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.


4 cloves of garlic, roasted
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup good quality mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Juice of one medium sized orange
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 medium-sized jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/4 cup diced red onion (use remainder of onion for slices, below)

6 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
2 pounds ground chuck
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles (6+ tablespoons)
6 oz. fresh mozzarella (cut into 6 slices)

6 bakery-quality Kaiser rolls, split
6 tablespoons butter for spreading on buns

canola oil for brushing on grill
6 Romaine lettuce leaves
6 slices of tomato
6 thin slices of a large red onion (remainder from 1/4 cup used above for relish)


GRILL: Preheat gas grill to medium-high (or prepare the coals for medium-high heat on a charcoal grill).

ROASTED GARLIC MAYO: peel the whole garlic cloves, cut off the ends and place on top of two sheets of aluminum foil. Add canola oil, then sprinkle with salt. Wrap garlic cloves in the foil and roast garlic for about 40 minutes or until the cloves are soft when they’re squeezed (use tongs to check). Unwrap, and place roasted garlic in a small mixing bowl to cool, and set aside. Once garlic has cooled, mash until smooth and add mayonnaise. Add pepper and mix well. Set aside and keep cold until assembly.

SWEET & SPICY BELL PEPPER RELISH: Cut orange in half and squeeze juice into a medium bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, marmalade, and orange zest and whisk to combine. Add bell pepper, jalapenos, and onions and mix well. Set aside until assembly.

PATTIES: Cook bacon in skillet on grill until crisp. Drain on papertowels and set aside. Place the ground chuck in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix until well blended, handling the meat as little as necessary. Shape the ground chuck into 12 equal patties about the diameter of the Kaiser rolls. They will be fairly thin. On 6 of the patties, sprinkle a rounded tablespoon of bleu cheese crumbles on top of each one, leaving a small margin around the edges. Equally divide the bacon pieces on top of the bleu cheese. Place a plain patty on top of each of the bleu cheese/bacon patties and crimp edges until sealed and lightly reform to an even shape. Scrape the grill grates clean, and apply a small amount of canola oil to the grill rack. Place the patties on the rack, not too close together and cook, only turning once, 5-7 minutes on each side for medium. With about 3 minutes remaining on total cooking time, place a slice of fresh mozzarella on top of each patty and monitor melting.

BUNS: Spread 1/2 tablespoon of butter on each cut side of Kaiser rolls and place on the grill to toast lightly during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.

ASSEMBLY: Place bottom of Kaiser roll, cut side up, on a plate, spread about a tablespoon of garlic mayo, and then add a leaf of lettuce. Add a slice of tomato on top of the lettuce, then add patty, a slice of red onion, and an equal portion of the bell pepper relish. Spread about a tablespoon of the roasted garlic mayo to the cut side of each Kaiser roll crown and place on top of the relish to complete the burger assembly. Serve immediately. Makes 6 burgers.