Moussaka Burger with Smokey White Sauce
2 pounds ground chuck
1 small eggplant, coarse grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing grill
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
6 good-quality hamburger buns, split
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat gas grill for medium heat cooking.
To prepare burgers combine ground beef, eggplant, onion, garlic and spices (cinnamon, allspice, salt, black pepper) until thoroughly incorporated, but not overly compacted. Form meat into six 1/2-3/4 inch thick patties sized to fit buns. Refrigerate until ready to cook, but bring to room temperature before grilling.
Combine chopped tomatoes with parsley, mint, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to assemble burgers.
For Smoky White Sauce melt butter in a small heavy saucepan placed over the grill. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, but do not brown. Pour in milk and cook until thickened. Mix in smoked paprika, cumin, salt and nutmeg. Add cheese and mix until melted. Keep sauce warm until patties are finished.
When grill is ready brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees turning only once.
To assemble burgers start by lightly toasting buns, cut side down, on the grill. Place the cooked burger on the bottom slice and top with the tomato mixture. Place some of the smoky white sauce over the tomato mixture. Top with the remaining bun slice and serve.