Hill Country Spicy Teriyaki Chévre Burgers with Grilled Texas Sweet Onions
I am a vegetable gardener and supporter of the locavore movement, so, inspiration for building a better burger comes straight from our garden or a local farmer’s market.A tomato that is picked ripe and goes on your burger within a day or two of harvesting adds a layer of flavor missing with store-bought, picked-green varieties. I add a dab of locally produced, artisanal chevre, kicked up with spicy creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s). CKC Farms chevre, which is produced just a few miles away and purchased at a nearby farmer’s market, is my first choice. Sweet Texas onions and the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce (a twist from traditional BBQ sauce in these parts) finish off my unique burger experience that may be enjoyed with a glass of Sutter Home Gewurztraminer.
Grilled Texas Sweet Onions:
1 large (1-pound) Texas Sweet or other sweet variety onion, peeled
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse ground, Kosher salt
8 ounces chèvre (locally produced if available)
2 tablespoons creole seasoning
Spicy Mayo/Honey mustard:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
2/3 cup Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Gewurztraminer
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh, peeled ginger, finely minced
2 pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh, peeled ginger, finely minced
6 onion rolls, bun size, fresh from the grocery store bakery
6 red leaf lettuce leaves, rinsed, patted dry
12 thin slices tomatoes (locally grown if available)
5-6 bamboo skewers soaked in water for 20 minutes (or metal skewers may be used)
basting brush (I use a 2-inch brush)
For the grilled onions, place skewers through onion horizontally, allowing room to cut between skewers. Slices should be about 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle with brown sugar and salt and rub to distribute to both sides. Then wrap in plastic wrap and set aside. They will sweat, so turn occasionally to distribute liquid.
For the chèvre patties, if chèvre is not purchases in a “log,” using parchment paper, form a “log,” about 1 1/2-inch thick by about 6-inches long. Sprinkle creole seasoning on another sheet of parchment paper and roll cheese log onto seasoning to coat. Slice into 6 slices and sprinkle creole seasoning onto each side. Press between parchment paper to make patties about 1/4-inch thick. Refrigerate.
For the spicy mayo/honey mustard, into a small mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, mustard and creole seasoning. Mix with wooden spoon to combine. Refrigerate.
For the teriyaki sauce, into a small sauce pan, add hoisin sauce. With wooden spoon stir in tamari, wine, rice wine vinegar, honey, Tony’s, garlic and ginger.
Now, fire up a gas grill (mine is a Vermont Castings) to “medium high” and start heating the teriyaki sauce. Stir frequently, heating thoroughly.
When the grill is heated, brush with vegetable oil. Place onions on oiled grill and baste top side with teriyaki sauce. Turn after 3-4 minutes (depending on thickness of slices), baste again with teriyaki sauce and continue to cook 3-4 minutes. Turn, baste and cook as above on both sides. When done, the onions should be charred and the rings should separate easily. Slide off skewers onto a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap to cover and keep warm.
For the burgers, into a large mixing bowl, place chuck and “fluff” gently with a fork. Sprinkle garlic and ginger onto meat and mix in gently with a fork. Cut parchment paper into 6, 6×6-inch pieces. Divide chuck into six portions, form loose patties, place each onto a piece of parchment paper and using additional parchment paper, press to form 2/3-inch patties.
Turn each patty onto clean, oiled grill heated to “medium high” and baste with generous portion of teriyaki sauce. Cook 3 1/2 minutes, then turn, baste and cook for 2 minutes. Place cheese patty on each burger and cook additional 1-2 minutes. Remove to platter, tent with foil to allow patties to rest while buns are being prepared.
For the buns, lightly toast cut sides. Distribute a generous portion of the spicy mayo/honey mustard onto both toasted sides.
To assemble the burgers, on bottom bun, place a lettuce leaf and two tomato slices, then a cheeseburger patty and 1/6 of the onions, and top bun. Plate and serve.