Wine Varietal: Zinfandel
2 pounds ground chuck
1 fresh jalapeno, with seeds and ribs removed, minced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
1 large sweet onion
2 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Blue Cheese Spread:
4 ounces Treasure Cave blue cheese, crumbled
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
vegetable oil for greasing the grill rack
1/2 cup yellow mustard
6 ounces jarlsberg cheese, sliced thin
3 cups baby spinach leaves
2 medium sized ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced into 18 even slices
12 slices dark rye bread, about 3/4 inches thick
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To make the patties, place the ground chuck in a large bowl with the minced jalapeno, garlic, thyme, Italian parsley, basil, 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper, mix gently to distribute all of the ingredients. Divide the meat into 6 equal pieces; divide each piece in half to make 12 pieces. Form each into an oval patty approximately 1/3 inch thick. Place 1 ounce of the cheddar cheese on each of 6 patties, place another patty on top of the cheese and press together. Sprinkle both sides of the stuffed patties evenly with the remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt.
Peel and slice the sweet onion into 1/4 inch slices, brush both sides of the onion slices with the Colavita olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, set aside. In a small bowl mix the blue cheese with the mayonnaise and the hot sauce and stir to combine well. Chill while cooking the onions and patties.
Brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil, place the onion slices on the grill and cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side until onions are soft and slightly browned, remove from grill and set aside. Spread one side of each patty with half of the prepared yellow mustard, grease the grill rack again and place the patties mustard side down over the hottest part of the grill. Spread the other side of the patties evenly with the remaining mustard, cook on the first side for 3 minutes and turn over. Distribute the jarlsberg cheese evenly over the patties, cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until medium rare, covering during the last 30 seconds to melt the cheese, remove the patties from the grill. Toast the dark rye slices lightly on the grill, about 20 seconds per side.
To assemble the burgers, spread one side of each of the toasted dark rye slices with the blue cheese mixture. For each burger place one slice of bread, blue cheese side up on the serving plate, top with ½ cup baby spinach, top with a cooked patty. Evenly distribute the grilled sweet onions over the top of each patty, top each with 3 slices of the California avocado, and place the last slice of bread blue cheese spreadside down on the top. Serve!