Grilled California Avocado BLT Burgers
Contributed by: NAPSA
Nationwide Search For The Next Great Burger Recipe (NAPSA) - You don't have to be a rocket scientist to win the Build A Better Burger National Recipe Contest and Cook-off(r) but, apparently, it helps.
Consider Clint Stephenson, a genuine rocket scientist who calculates spacecraft centers of gravity for a living. He developed the grilled California avocado BLT burger with caramelized chipotle onions that was judged to be out of this world and earned him the coveted $50,000 grand prize in the Build a Better Burger Contest.
"Clint had a wonderful recipe with flavors that unfolded as you bit into the burger," says Jeffrey Starr, culinary director for Sutter Home Winery and Build a Better Burger.
If You Build It, You Could Win
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the contest poses the question: Can you build a better burger?
James McNair, head judge and author of a new book called "Build a Better Burger," (Ten Speed Press), says he looks for imaginative recipes that reflect cultural and regional influences. His new book gives a complete history of the contest and offers tips for contestants. In addition to including all of the winning recipes, the book gives specific details on keeping burgers moist and flavorful, handling meat, preparing the grill, preventing flare-ups on the grill and more.
The contest accepts entries from May 30, 2005 to August 26. For complete contest entry rules, visit buildabetterburger.com or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Build a Better Burger, Sutter Home Winery, PO Box 248, St. Helena, Calif., 94574-0248. Build a Better Burger is not open to residents of California or Utah. Ten finalists will be flown to the Napa Valley to compete in a burger grilling cook-off on October 1, 2005.
The contest is sponsored by Sutter Home Family Vineyards, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the California Avocado Commission.
Here's the winning recipe:
- Caramelized Chipotle Onions
- 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco(r) Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- 1 tablespoon beef broth
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- Point Reyes Blue Cheese Spread
- 61/2 ounces light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese
- 4 ounces Point Reyes blue cheese or other favorite blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 1 pound round sirloin
- 1/3 cup minced sweet onion
- 1/4 cup Zinfandel
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, thyme and basil (any combination)
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons spicy seasoned salt
- Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
- 12 Fresh California avocado slices
- Balsamic vinegar for brushing on the avocado
- Spicy seasoned salt, for sprinkling on the avocado
- 12 precooked bacon slices
- 6 (41/2-inch) soft Kaiser rolls, split
- 6 romaine lettuce leaves
- 6 (1/4-inch-thick) large tomato slices
To make the cheese, prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the caramelized onions, combine onion, pepper sauce, broth, vinegar, oil, garlic and brown sugar in a 10-inch nonstick, fire-proof skillet, cover with a lid, and place on the grill rack. Cook onion mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove pan from the gill and set aside.
To make the spread, combine the cheeses in a fire-proof saucepan, cover, and set aside.
To make the patties, combine the chuck, sirloin, onion, Zinfandel, herbs, pepper sauce and seasoned salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls.
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. Meanwhile, place the saucepan with the cheese spread on the outer edge of the rack to warm the cheese mixture just until it reaches a very soft, spreadable consistency. Remove the saucepan from the grill and set aside.
During the final minutes of grilling the patties, brush the avocado slices with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Arrange on a rimmed nonstick perforated grilling pan coated lightly with oil and grill alongside the patties for 1 to 2 minutes, turning as necessary. During the final 30 seconds, add the bacon slices to the pan. When the avocados are nicely grilled and the bacon is crisp, remove from the grill. When the patties are cooked, remove from the grill, stacking to keep warm. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the cheese mixture over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a tomato slice, a patty, an equal portion of the caramelized onions, 2 avocado slices and 2 bacon slices. Add the roll tops and serve.
Serving Size: Makes 6 Burgers