Clay's Kitchen : Burger Recipes

Burger Recipes

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Napa Valley Basil Smoked Burgers

Recipe from: Build a Better Burger - Celebrating Sutter Home's Annual Search for America's Best Burgers by James McNair.
Servings: 6

The quintessential American dish, the hamburger, has come a long way since the norm was a thin patty of beef sandwiches between a white bread bun with a splash of ketchup. This book represents the best of the best of nouvelle burgers in all their glorious forms, made from all kinds of ground meats and even seafood! Each year thousands of cooks, both amateur and professional, compete in the Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest. The Sutter Home Family Vineyards in gorgeous Napa Valley, California host the annual regional winner-takes-all cook-off. This book celebrates the contest's 15'th anniversary, with 44 prize winning recipes representing the cream of the crop from the more than 50,000 contest entries since the contest's beginning in 1990.

The Grand Prize Winner in 1990 is Jim Pleasants of Williamsburg, Virginia. The recipe for this Italian-influenced burger came from the creator's herb garden — He grow lots of herbs and he wanted to incorporate some of them into a burger.

Pesto Mayonnaise:
⅔ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto

To make the mayonnaise, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

2 pounds ground sirloin
¼ cup Zinfandel
¼ cup lightly packed minced fresh basil
¼ cup minced red onion
¼ cup fresh Italian bread crumbs
8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
8 large basil prigs, moistened with water for grilling
6 large seeded sandwich rolls, split
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 red leaf lettuce leaves
6 thick tomato slices, about ¼ inch thick
6 paper thin red onion slices, separated into rings
6 basil sprigs for serving

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the sirloin, Zinfandel, basil, onion, bread crumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic 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.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Toss the moistened basil springs directly onto the fire. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.

During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice.

To assemble the burgers, spread the mayonnaise over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a lettuce leaf, a patty, a tomato slice, an onion slice, and a basil sprig. Add the roll tops and serve.

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