WINE COUNTRY BURGER ITALIAN-STYLE WITH PORCINI RELISH
The inspiration for my burger creation came from a visit to Napa Valley and my love of Italian cooking.I incorporated Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon, California cheese, fresh herbs and garlic into the beef patty. My relish topping is made with porcini mushrooms rehydrated in wine, cooked with shallots, zucchini, garlic and diced cherry tomatoes. Balsamic vinegar is added to cut the sweetness, the kalamata olives for salt and basil for fresh herb flavor and color. To hold the burger, relish, the gorgonzola butter, lettuce and peppered bacon, I went with a square ciabatta multigrain roll. I also formed my patty into a square burger-it was a nice change.
1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2-ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup thinly sliced and diced baby zucchini
2/3 cup thinly sliced shallots (half-moon slice)
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated garlic
2/3 cup diced Nature Sweet cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons Colavita balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/4 scant teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chilled Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds ground beef chuck 80/20
3 tablespoons fresh grated California Romano cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2/3 cup crumbled California gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup unsalted butter-softened
3 tablespoons coarse to fine chopped roasted whole almonds (skin on)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
12 slices black peppered bacon slices
Vegetable oil for grill rack
6 square (3-1/2 to 4-inches square) multigrain ciabatta rolls, split horizontally
3 cups roughly chopped hearts of Romaine lettuce
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal grill to medium-hot.
For relish, heat wine in a fire-proof saucepan on grill side burner or rack until hot. Remove from heat. Break mushrooms into small pieces and stir into hot wine. Let stand 30 minutes or until mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally. Strain mushrooms through a fine sieve. Chop mushrooms; set aside. Heat oil to hot in a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat on grill side burner or rack. Add zucchini and shallots; cook stirring often until lightly browned-3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms and garlic to skillet; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and vinegar; stir 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in olives and basil then transfer relish to a small bowl. Season with salt and set aside until needed. Wipe skillet with paper towels; set skillet aside for bacon.
For patties, in a large bowl, combine wine, oregano, rosemary and garlic. Break beef into small clumps over wine mixture. Sprinkle cheese, salt and pepper over beef then gently mix ingredients together using a large spoon. Form 6 square patties equal in size to fit rolls and indent center of each patty using your thumb. Place patties on a plate, loosely tent with Reynolds Wrap non-stick foil until needed.
For gorgonzola butter, using a fork, stir gorgonzola, butter, almonds, lemon peel and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate covered until patties are ready for grilling then remove from refrigerator.
For bacon, set skillet used for relish on grill side burner or rack over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels then wrap in Reynolds Wrap non-stick foil and set near grill.
Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on grill rack, cover and cook turning once until desired doneness or 5 to 7 minutes per side for medium. Remove patties from grill to a plate and tent loosely with Reynolds Wrap. Place rolls cut side down on grill rack and lightly toast. Place foil wrapped bacon on grill rack to warm.
To assemble, in equal portions, slather cut side of roll bottoms with gorgonzola butter, top each with lettuce, bacon then a burger. Stir relish and using a slotted spoon, top burgers with equal portions of relish and cover with a roll top. Serve immediately.