The Tumbleweed Burger with BLT Dressing
2 medium sweet onions
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
BLT Dressing: (Basil, Lemon & Tomato Mayonnaise)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup prepared ranch dressing
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed), drained and minced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
12 thick-cut slices Applewood smoked bacon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1/2 cup grated sweet onion, like Texas 1015 or Vidalia
1⁄4 cup Sutter Homes White Cabernet Sauvignon Wine
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable oil, for frying the Tumbleweed Onions
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
1/2 pound of Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
6 cracked wheat buns, split
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 bunch Watercress, washed, dried and large stems removed and discarded
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill.
To prepare the Tumbleweed Onions, peel and slice the onions as thinly as possible. Separate the rings and break, forming long strings of onions. In a large, shallow baking dish, combine the buttermilk, ranch dressing and egg. Mix well. Place the onions in the buttermilk mixture and stir to cover them completely. Cover and refrigerate. In a paper sack, combine the flour, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika and fresh ground pepper. Close and shake well to combine. Set aside.
To prepare the BLT Dressing, in a small bowl stir together the mayonnaise, prepared ranch dressing, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
When the grill is ready, cook the bacon in a large, heavy, nonstick, fire-proof skillet until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning frequently. Remove onto paper towels to drain. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm and set aside.
To prepare the Garlic Butter, place the unsalted butter in a small saucepan and place on the grill rack until the butter melts, stirring occasionally. Add the crushed garlic, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and move to an outer edge of the grill to keep warm.
To make the patties, in a large bowl gently combine the ground chuck, grated sweet onions, White Cabernet Sauvignon wine, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, handling as little as possible so as not to compact the meat. Divide the mixture into 6 equal parts and form into patties sized to fit the buns, pressing an indentation in the center of each patty. Cover loosely in plastic wrap and set aside.
Pour about 2 inches of vegetable oil into a large, deep, heavy, fire-proof saucepan. Place the saucepan on the grill rack and heat to 360 degrees. When the oil is heated, remove a handful of onions from the buttermilk marinade and gently shake to remove any excess mixture. Place the marinated onions in the flour mixture and shake well to coat. Remove and gently shake off any excess flour. Place the coated onions in the heated oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove with metal tongs to a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels to drain well. Repeat with the remaining onions until done. Cover the Tumbleweed Onions in aluminum foil to keep warm. Remove the saucepan from the grill when all the onions are done.
Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, place an equal portion of the Mozzarella Cheese slices on each patty to melt. During the last few minutes of grilling the patties, brush the garlic butter on the cut sides of the buns. Sprinkle generously with the grated Parmesan Cheese, lightly pressing the cheese onto the cut surfaces of the buns. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to lightly toast. Remove the patties and buns when done.
To assemble the burgers, spread the toasted sides of the bun tops generously with the BLT Dressing. On each bun bottom, add a generous portion of Watercress, a cheese-topped patty, 2 slices of bacon, and an equal portion of Tumbleweed Onions. Add the bun tops and serve immediately. Y’all enjoy!