DIABLO BURGERS WITH CILANTRO-PECAN PESTO
3/4 cup pecan pieces
3 cups, packed fresh cilantro (large stems removed)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Goat Cheese Spread:
1/2 cup cilantro-pecan pesto (above)
2 tablespoons purÃ©ed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1- 4 oz. package MontchevrÃ© Four Peppers goat cheese or other favorite goat cheese, softened
4 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large sweet onions (such as Texas 1015 or Vidalia), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Colavita aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend
6 tablespoons cilantro-pecan pesto (above)
3 tablespoons purÃ©ed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
2 pounds ground chuck
Olive oil, for brushing on the grill rack
8 oz. Sonoma Habanero pepper jack cheese or favorite pepper jack cheese, sliced
6 sourdough Kaiser rolls, split
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, large stems removed
2 large avocados (peeled and sliced at last minute to prevent from turning brown)
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the pesto, when the grill is ready, place the pecan pieces in a large fire-proof skillet on the grill rack. Roast the pecans until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir often. Remove pan from the grill and set aside. Place cilantro, garlic and salt in the food processor and process until chopped. Add toasted pecans and olive oil. Pulse mixture until a paste is formed.
To make the goat cheese spread, combine pesto, chipotle peppers, goat cheese and raspberry jam in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
For the caramelized onions, combine the olive oil, onions, vinegar and seasoning blend in a large fire-proof skillet and place on the grill rack. Cook the onions until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir often. Set aside and keep warm.
For the patties, mix together pesto, chipotle peppers, raspberry jam, garlic, salt and seasoning blend in a large bowl. Add the ground chuck. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide mixture into 6 equal size portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls.
Brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, approximately 4 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, place the sliced cheese on each patty to melt.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the goat cheese spread on both cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place 1/2 cup of lettuce, an equal portion of the caramelized onions and a patty. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto on top of the patty followed by 5 or 6 stems of cilantro and 4 slices of avocado. Add the roll tops and serve.