Silver State Basque Burgers with Pyrenees Topping
In its early days of settlement, Nevada was a melting pot of immigrants — Italian charcoal burners, Welsh miners, Basque sheepherders and people from a dozen other ethnic groups.Since we moved to Nevada more than three decades ago, I’ve discovered the state’s rich culinary heritage. Iin this recipe combined the flavors of traditional Basque cooking with those of its various other ethnic groups, making it a truly American burger — Nevada style.
1-1/2 pound tenderloin steak, ground
2 oz. prosciutto, ground
1 tablespoon pine nuts, ground
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup ripe olives, chopped
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced yellow bell pepper
2 medium orange tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon chili sauce
6 butter or Boston lettuce leaves
6 sour dough French rolls
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the patties, combine the ground steak, prosciutto, pine nuts, garlic, paprika, thyme and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the rolls.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill until done to degree of preference; about 6-8 minutes. During last few minutes of cooking, carefully place rolls, cut side down, on the outer rack edges to toast lightly.
To make the spread, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and ripe olives in small bowl. Stir until well blended.
To make topping, combine the bell pepper pieces, tomato and chili sauce in medium bowl.
To assemble the burgers, cover cut side of rolls with thin coating of spread. Place burgers on roll bottoms. Add lettuce leaves and topping. Cover with roll tops. Secure with toothpicks if necessary.