Melting Polar Icecap; Chipotle Chicken and Sausage Burger with Crisp Celery Relish and Creamy Chevre

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia or other sweet variety
3 stalks celery with leaves, cleaned
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded
2 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, divided
1 head iceberg lettuce
7 firm, bakery quality, seeded Italian sandwich rolls
2 teaspoons celery seed
3/8 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
6 tablespoons mayonnaise, divided
2 tablespoons Chipotle hot sauce, divided
1 (10.5 to 11 oz.) log chevre
1 pound ground chicken
1 pound bulk ground pork sausage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons Colavita olive oil, divided
Vegetable oil, for the grill.



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Begin relish with a food processor, finely chopping the onion and place in a strainer over a bowl and reserving ¼ cup for the burgers. Clean and trim celery and yellow bell pepper, medium chop both and add to onion. Toss in ¼ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon cider vinegar. Set aside in the cooler or fridge to drain into the bowl which will be used later for basting mixture. Core the lettuce and separate the head into layers. Place layers in a colander, rinse with cool water, drain very well and break into bun size pieces, and also shred a small portion, returning to the colander to dry. Tear one of the rolls into small chunks, enough for ½ cup of crumbs, and pulse in food processor for meat mixture. Set aside. Move relish ingredients to a medium bowl, reserving the drained liquid, and dab with a paper towel. Add 2 teaspoons celery seed, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard, ½ teaspoon cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise. Mix well, cover and move to the cooler or refrigerator. For basting, fork-blend 2 to 3 tablespoons of reserved drained relish liquid with 2 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon Chipotle hot sauce. If relish liquid isn’t at least 2 tablespoons, substitute water. Set aside. Cut log chevre into 6 equal discs, cover and set aside in cooler or refrigerator. Split the six remaining rolls allowing more thickness at the bottom and set aside. In a large bowl, place the reserved ¼ cup chopped onion, ground chicken and sausage, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Combine well and divide mixture into 6 balls and shaping into patties that are indented in the center. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil, and add patties. Add split rolls, cut side down until lightly toasted while basting top of patties. Remove rolls to platter and cover with a clean dish towel. Baste patties, close grill for 3 minutes, baste, and close again for 3 minutes. Repeat until cooking time has reached at least 12 minutes and until instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 160 degrees F. Add the buns back to the grill around the burgers at the end for a few seconds to warm. To assemble, arrange lower bun halves on platter. On each add a thin layer of mayonnaise, some lettuce pieces/layers, a teaspoon of relish, a burger, another teaspoon of relish. One at a time, add a chevre disc by pressing out to fit and allowing some cracking on the edges. Adding a thin layer of mayonnaise to the top side of the roll, and a few pieces of shredded lettuce, lightly press it all together. Repeat with remaining burgers. Remaining relish may be served to the side on lettuce or in a bowl.