The Better Butter Burger
Butter, Buddah, however you say it, you cannot go wrong, it’s the ultimate condiment. Cooking is a passion of mine that began when my mother taught me who was passed down recipes from her grandmother who was a personal chef for a wealthy family in Bologna, Italy eons ago and while those dishes are classic and wonderful, I find myself fully absorbed in cooking magazines and the Food Network, trying to learn new techiques, spices and foods in order to be able to put a new spins on common foods in my own kitchen. So when it came to makiing the burger, I thought outside the box but it also brought me back to my favorite thing, butter.So here is your better burger, with butter!
Caramelized Cabernet Sauvignon Vidalia Onions
• 6 large Vidalia onions, sliced thinly
• 2 ¼ cups Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
• 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
Homemade Garlic Butter
• 9 tablespoons softened salted butter
• 4 teaspoons minced garlic
• ¾ teaspoon of salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons dried parsley
• 33 basil leafs, rough chopped
• 3 tablespoons pine nuts
• 8 peeled garlic cloves, rough chopped
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup olive oil
• 12 strips of bacon
• 3 pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• 6 pats of homemade garlic butter
• 1 stick melted plain salted butter
• 6 unseeded Kaiser rolls
• 1 ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
• 12 slices of fresh mozzarella, ¼ inch thick
To make the onions: Combine the sliced onions with the wine and the brown sugar and place in a shallow baking dish so they can marinate for a half an hour. While they marinate, turn the front of the grill on high to preheat for 10 minutes. After preheating the grill, place iron skillet on grill with the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and turn grill to medium high heat. Once oil is hot, strain the onions, discarding the liquid, and place in skillet. Close grill and cook onions, stirring occasionally until caramelized, about 20 minutes then remove carefully with oven mitt and set aside covered with aluminum foil.
To make the homemade garlic butter: Combine all ingredients well and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Smooth out the butter to a thickness of ¼ inch, gently fold over plastic and put back in refrigerator to harden up.
To make the pesto: Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend well about 30 seconds and set aside.
To make the patties: While cooking the onions, turn the back burner on medium high and place all of the bacon on the top rack of grill. Turn the bacon over after 10 minutes and cook until crisp, about another 5 minutes. Remove bacon once cooked and place on a paper towel to drain and let cool. Once bacon had cooled, break with hands into rough little pieces. Mix together the beef, bacon pieces, salt and egg being sure not to over mix. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and form into patties. Remove homemade garlic butter from refrigerator and cut equally into 6 pats of butter. To assemble, place 1 pat of butter in between 2 patties and seal edges well with fingers and put a small thumbprint in the middle of each completed burger. Repeat with the remaining patties and pats of butter. You will end up with 6 burgers. To prep the rolls, brush butter onto each cut side of the rolls and set aside. Save the remaining melted butter.
Heat the grill to 400 degrees. When the grill is ready, place all of the burgers on the grill and close the lid and grill for 3 minutes. Flip burgers, close lid and grill another 3 minutes. Remove burgers, brush each side of burger with the remaining melted butter the coat each side of the burger with the panko breadcrumbs. Place burgers back on the grill and grill for 2 minutes. Flip burgers and place 2 slices of the mozzarella cheese onto the top of each burger, close lid and grill for another 3 minutes. Remove the burgers from the grill, very loosely cover with aluminum foil and allow them to rest while preparing the buns, this will allow the juices and the butter to disperse inside the burger. Please rolls cut side down on grill, close lid and toast 1 minute.
To assemble the burgers: Top each bun bottom with a burger and place a heaping tablespoon of the caramelized onions on top each burger. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pesto onto the toasted sides of the bun tops and place on top of each burger.
Makes 6 burgers.