Wine Varietal: Merlot
I have never traveled to Morocco, but if I did I know I would be thrilled with the spices and flavors that this colorful country offers in their everyday cuisine! The people literally ‘wear’ the colors of their foods, sporting fabric & ingredients of all colors of the rainbow! I tried to mimic the colors and borrow the common spices from their culture to make a mouthwatering and incredibly pleasing dish offering visual appeal as it is placed before you on the table, knowing that the senses have now engaged upon a journey of fantastic food enjoyment!
Hot Pepper Jelly Aioli
1/3 cup Sutter Home Merlot
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup (red) hot pepper-jelly
3/4 cup high-quality mayonnaise
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons prepared Harissa
1/3 cup Sutter Home Merlot
1 large sweet yellow onion, half finely chopped, half sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons marjoram
1 teaspoon roasted cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds ground beef chuck, 80/20, preferably organic grass-fed
Peppers & Pineapple Rings
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 quarter sections of sweet red bell peppers
6 slices fresh Pineapple rings
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil for grill grates
6 thick cut slices pecorino cheese
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 leaves green-leaf lettuce
1/2 cup drained deli sweet and hot jalapeño slices
Preheat the gas grill on medium-high. Chill the ground beef and a large stainless steel bowl until needed.
For the Aioli, use a fire-safe saucepan, heat 1/3 cup Sutter Home Merlot to a boil, remove from heat and add the chopped dried cherries. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain, reserving the wine, and add cherries to a small bowl. To that bowl, add the pepper-jelly, mayonnaise, cream cheese, cilantro and mint and mix until smooth. Cover and chill until needed.
For the patties, place Harissa, 1/3 cup Sutter Home Merlot, finely chopped onion, garlic, marjoram, roasted cumin, coriander, allspice and salt into the chilled large bowl, and whisk together until smooth. Mix in the beef using a large mixing spoon until well combined. Place meat into a gallon resealable bag, seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove and form meat into 6 patties of equal size, making a slight indention in the center of patties. Let rest until ready to grill.
For the pineapple rings, place a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the grill and melt the butter. Add the reserved wine (from the cherries), the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix until sugar dissolves, then add red pepper quarter sections, pineapple slices and onion slices, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for about 5-7 minutes, adjusting heat temperature so that the nothing burns. [A visual cue would be helpful at this point! Jill] Remove pan from grill.
Use long tongs holding paper towels soaked in 1/3 cup vegetable oil and coat the grill grates. Grill the patties 4-5 minutes each side, grill cover closed, turning only once. After flipping burgers, top each with a slice of cheese and close grill cover. After pulling off the burgers to rest on a work surface, place the rolls, cut side down, onto the grill and toast until lightly browned.
To assemble, spread a generous amount of the Hot Pepper Jelly Aioli onto the cut sides of both the top and bottom buns. On the bottom buns, lay a lettuce leaf, then a burger with cheese, a red pepper quarter (skin side down), then a pineapple ring, sliced onions, 4 or 5 jalapeÃ±o pepper slices and the top bun. Place 2 wooden skewers into each burger, one through middle of each half, and cut burger in half to serve.