Texan Tuscan Burger: Triple cheese bacon burger with warm spinach salad and dried cherry compote
2 pounds ground chuck
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 slices of chopped apple wood smoked bacon
1 medium sized jalapeno minced
2 cups dried cherries
1 cup Sutter Home Chardonnay wine reduction
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
Spinach walnut salad
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of one small red onion thinly sliced
3 cups pre-washed bagged baby spinach
6 slices of gouda cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 good-quality hamburger buns, split.
Prepare on a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. First place chopped bacon and olive oil in a large, fire-proof skillet on the grill cook until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels and allow to cool completely, set the skillet aside but do not clean because the bacon drippings will be used later.
To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, jalapeno, and chopped cooked bacon in a large bowl. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Place Chardonnay in a fire-proof sauce pan on the grill on medium heat and allow to reduce. Place wine reduction in a small bowl along with dried cherries, set aside. Wipe out sauce pan and melt butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese and start stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add heavy cream, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps then stir in Parmesan and basil. Keep the mixture on the grill out of direct heat, make sure to keep an eye on it.
Set the skillet back on the grill add water to the skillet to loosen bacon dripping from the pan. Next, add the walnuts, spinach, and red onion to the skillet cook on medium heat until spinach has wilted and the onions have begun to get transparent; set aside. Place cherries in a food processor and blend into a paste. Before placing the burgers on the grill remove alfredo spread from heat. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
To assemble the burgers, place equal portions of the cherry compote on each bun bottom, followed by a cheese-topped patty, and an equal portion of the spinach walnut salad. Place alfredo on the top bun add the bun tops and serve.