Nutty Sweet-n-Spice Pineapple Burger
1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Honey Cream Cheese
1 8oz tub of Whipped Cream Cheese (Plain)
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Hamburger patties and toppings
Olive oil, for brushing on grill rack
12 slices center cut bacon
6 slices fresh pineapple (sliced about 1/4-inch thick)
2 pounds ground round
6 slices of sharp cheddar cheese (such as Kraft Cracker Barrel Sharp Slices) The slices are cut to 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. If using a different brand, cut to this size square.
1/2 cup smoked almonds (such as canned Blue Diamond Almonds – Smokehouse) Chop into large chunks.
6 leaves green-leaf lettuce
1 medium red onion, sliced paper thin and separated
6 good-quality poppy seed (or other) kaiser rolls, split
Preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
In a small bowl stir together all of the spicy rub ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
In a small bowl blend together all of the honey cream cheese intgredients. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
Brush the grill with olive oil. Remove core from pineapple. Place the fresh pineapple slices on the grill rack and grill 3 minutes on each side. Remove the pineapple from the grill and set aside.
Divide the hamburger into 6 equal portions.
Shape each patty by flattening into a 5-inch round circle. The patty will be about 1/4-inch thick.
Place one slice of cheddar cheese in the middle of each patty.
Place one slice of the grilled pineapple on top of the cheese slice.
Very gently fold over the edges of the hamburger and gently mold into a square shape to enclose the cheese and pineapple.
You will end up with a square burger (about 4-inches square).
Sprinkle/pat a generous amount of the spicy rub onto all sides of each patty (about 1 tablespoon of rub per patty).
Brush the grill again with olive oil. Place the patties on the rack, grill, truning only once on the open flame for 6 to 7 minutes on each side for medium-well.
During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
Remove the patties and rolls from the grill.
To assemble the burgers: Layer each roll bottom with 2 slices of bacon, lettuce and onion. Spread a generous amount of the Honey Cream Cheese (about 1 tablespoon per burger) on the cut side of the roll tops followed with a generous sprinkle of the chopped almonds (about 1 tablespoon per burger).
Slice each burger in half and serve.
Eat and be happy!