Wine Varietal: Chardonnay
Northwest cherry season is just starting so it is only fitting that I created a burgerthat highlights our prized cherries, they are a perfect match with salmon(another prized Northwest ingredient). The thick cherry sauce is almost like a gourmet catsup that adds a slightly smoky sweet flavor to these burgers.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large poblano pepper
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup rough chopped fresh or frozen sweet pitted cherries
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon all spice
2 teaspoons sea salt(divided)
1/3 cup Sutter Home Merlot wine
2 teaspoons Tabasco chipotle flavored hot sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 large egg
2 pounds skinless salmon fillets, preferably wild salmon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
6 ciabatta rolls, split
6 butter lettuce leaves trimmed to fit burgers
Prepare a standard outdoor grill to medium-high direct heat then brush with the vegetable oil. Roast the whole poblano on grill rack until charred all over then place in small bowl , cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a large oven proof skillet heat olive oil over grill rack and saute the onions for 20 minutes. Add the cherries, garlic, all spice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, saute 2 minutes more then slowly add the wine, hot sauce, brown sugar and mustard. Stir until mixture has thickened about 4 minutes. Peel charred skin off poblano, remove core and seeds then place in food processor along with the cherry mixture, puree until smooth.
Place hazelnuts on a small piece of foil with the edges rolled up to form a rim. Place on grill rack and shake often until golden all over about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Beat egg in a large bowl then stir in the salmon, shallots, maple syrup , hazelnuts, and remaining salt. Gently mix then divide into 6 portions. Form salmon portions into patties. Grill until just cooked through about 4 minutes per side. During the last minute of grilling lightly toast cut side of rolls on outer edge of grill rack. To serve place burgers on roll bottoms then top with lettuce. Spread cherry mixture on cut side of roll tops then close to form burgers. Serves 6