Wicked Waldorf Burger
2 pounds ground chuck (Kansas beef is best!)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/4 cup chopped Thai basil
1 Tablespoon good quality red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 thin-sliced Applewood smoked bacon strips
2 (5.3 ounce) containers Greek yogurt with honey
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Crisp Wine Spritzer Apples
1/4 cup Sutter Home Gewurztraminer
1/4 cup cold Seltzer water or club soda
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, sliced thin (with skins on)
2 (crisp) red apples, cored, sliced thin
Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill rack
3 ounces Gorgonzola crumbles
6 iceberg lettuce leaves
6 pumpernickel rolls, split (bakery style, not too chewy)
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the patties, place the chuck in a large bowl, set aside. In a food processor, pulse the onions, raisins, red wine, Thai basil, curry paste and salt for 30 seconds. Combine mixture into the beef, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the rolls. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm.
To make the spread, stir the yogurt, mayonnaise, celery and chopped walnuts in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
To make the spritzer wine apples, whisk the white wine, soda water and ginger in a large bowl. Slice the apples and immediately toss in the wine mixture to coat well as to prevent browning. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
When the grill is hot and 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 crumbles 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, on each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a cheese-topped patty and 2 bacon slices. Shake excess from apples and add equal portions of the apples. Spread a generous amount of the Waldorf mixture over the cut sides of the tops. Place roll tops on and serve.
Makes 6 burgers