Southern “Cheesesteak” Burgers with Pimiento Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes & Crispy Shallots

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

pimiento cheese & Philly cheesesteaks


2 cups mild yellow cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped canned (drained & patted dry) pimiento
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons milk

2 pounds ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ground fennel seed
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup panko
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
6 large (1/2-inch-thick) slices green tomato or very under ripe tomato
1/2 cup light olive oil
6 large shallots (about 3/4 pound total), sliced crosswise
12 Italian long hot peppers, or similar hot pepper
6 large sesame-seed sandwich rolls, split


Place all pimiento cheese ingredients in a food processor and process until almost smooth. Remove to a bowl. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal with a cover. In a large bowl, combine ground beef chuck and next 5 ingredients. Mix lightly but well. Shape into 6 patties formed to fit the rolls. Set aside.

Place panko and salt in a shallow pie pan. Place flour and eggs in separate pie pans. Coat tomato slices with flour, then egg, then dredge in panko mixture. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a large (10- to 12-inch) fireproof skillet directly over hot coals. When oil temperature reaches 350°F., fry shallots until golden brown and crispy. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. In same skillet, cook tomatoes until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Cover and keep warm. Place hot peppers directly on grill and grill, turning often, until skin is blackened. Place in a plastic bag a few minutes, then peel off skin. Remove stems. Cut lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.

Brush grill rack with oil. Place burgers on grill. Cover and cook to desired degree of doneness, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium. Place rolls, cut sides down, on edge of grill to lightly toast. Remove burgers to a plate.

Place burgers on bottom halves of rolls. Spoon cheese on top, then sprinkle with fried shallots. Top with a tomato slice, 2 hot peppers each and roll top.

Makes 6 servings.