2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
Spicy Cucumber Salad:
3 large seedless cucumbers
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
1/4 cup fresh parsley; finely chopped
1/4 cup Zinfandel
1/2 cup finely crushed sour cream and onion potato chips
4 green onions (white and part of the tender green), minced
2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 large seeded hamburger buns (not hard); split
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups Watercress
6 (1/4-inch thick) large tomato slices
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise and wasabi powder in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To make the cucumber salad, cut the cucumbers in half length-wise; leaving the peel on. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and watery center from each half, forming a groove down the center. Using a sharp paring knife, slice the cucumbers crosswise as thin as possible, approximately 1/8 inch thick. Place the cucumbers in a nonreactive colander and sprinkle with salt and toss together. Set the colander over a bowl and refrigerate while the burgers are being grilled.
To make the patties, combine the chuck, parsley, Zinfandel, potato chips, onions, and salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Make a depression in the center with your thumb so the burger won’t bulge; the indent will rise as the patty cooks.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until medium (with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. using an instant-read thermometer in the center of the patty); approximately 7 minutes on each side.
While the burgers are cooking return to the cucumber salad. Remove the cucumbers from the refrigerator. Using clean hands, squeeze handfuls of the cucumber slices to release any excess liquid, and transfer the cucumbers to a medium nonreactive bowl. In another nonreactive bowl, combine the white vinegar, cider vinegar, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers, add the red pepper flakes, and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside and return to the burgers.
During the last few minutes of grilling, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice. Remove the burger and buns from the grill for assembly. Remove the cucumber salad from the refrigerator and return the salad to the collander; straining the majority of the dressing so the cucumbers are dressed but not dripping wet.
To assemble the burgers, spread the mayonnaise over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a patty, tomato slice, 2 heaping tablespoons of cucumber salad, and the watercress (approximately 1/4 cup). Add the roll tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.