Wine Varietal: Merlot
When you think of Idaho, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not clam chowder, unless you think of the famous Idaho spud! Being a potato farmer in Idaho during my life, anything that you can make with spuds is a meal worth making. This is especially true when it comes to my wife’s clam chowder. So after enjoying a bowl of her amazing chowder, I thought that I just had to find a way to incorporate this flavor into one of America’s favorite eats. Yes, the burger. In recent years, we moved to Montana. Anything made with beef has to be a favorite around here! So grab your favorite beverage, pull up a chair, and enjoy!
12 slices of peppered bacon
Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Tapenade:
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil (3 oz package)
2 cups very HOT water
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, fresh minced
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
15.25 oz can of corn, drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, fresh minced
medium yellow onion, 1/3 cup diced
6.5 oz minced clams, drain reserving juice (approx. 1/2 cup) and set aside
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
dash of pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
2/3 cup 100% Idaho potato flakes (to thicken)
1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground sirlon
1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
6 big slices of white sharp cheddar
1/4 stick of butter for buns
6 sourdough buns
Preheat grill to medium. Place 12 slices of the peppered bacon on a cookie sheet, place sheet on rack and cook until done. Place bacon on plate with paper towels to soak up grease and set aside.
To prepare tapenade, place sun-dried tomatoes in bowl and add hot water. Let tomatoes steep in water for approx. 20 minutes. Finely chop tomatoes and return to the bowl. Add minced garlic, salt, basil, and oil to the tomatoes. Mix well and set aside.
To prepare the chowder sauce, turn grill to medium-low. When grill is ready, place corn in fire-proof sauce pan and brown for approx. 5 minutes, stirring as needed. Add butter, garlic and onions, saute onions until tender. Turn grill to medium-high, add juice from clams, heavy cream, pepper, cayenne pepper, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, sage, and dill. Bring to a boil for approx. 5-7 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of boil add clams. Add potato flakes to thicken. Place on indirect heat for approx. 5 minutes, stirring as needed. Set aside.
To make patties, combine the ground chuck, sirloin, grated cheese, salt, and pepper in bowl. Lightly mix together, form into 6 patties.
Butter buns and set aside.
With grill on medium-high, brush rack with olive oil and place patties on rack. Cover and cook, turning once until done to preference. 4-5 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes place1 slice of sharp white cheddar on each patty and place buns, cut side down, on top rack to toast lightly.
To assemble burgers, equally spread approx. 3 tablespoons chowder sauce on bun bottom, place a patty, place the bacon on the patty making in an X, and add approx. 1 tablespoon tapenade on top of the bacon. Add the bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.