RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Argentine Provoleta Burgers

This is the ultimate cheeseburger because cheese is crispy and melt, and the meat is juicy and flavorful. This burger was inspired by my trips to Argentina, where provolone—cheese cooked on a grill, served with olive oil and oregano-- is a specialty. It has all the flavors of an Argentine steakhouse: chimichurri, olives, oregano, and wine.

Ingredients 

Chimichurri:
1/4 cup tightly packed parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
Provolones:
1 pound mild provolone or haloumi cheese
1/4 cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Char grilled peppers:
2 large red bell peppers
2 Tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
large pinch kosher salt
Patties:
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 pound ground brisket
1/2 cup green olives, such as cerignola or picholine, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 14 oz can whole hearts of palm
Colavita olive oil for brushing grill
6 good quality potato hamburger buns
1 red onion, sliced paper thin

Instructions 

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

Make the Chimichurri:
In a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer the sauce to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To prepare the provolone, slice the cheese into pieces 1/2 inch thick. The number of slices may vary depending on the diameter of the cheese, but the important thing is the thickness. Coat the cheese slices in olive oil and dried oregano. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the char-grilled peppers:
Rub the peppers with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and place on the grill. Grill, turning every few minutes until the skins of the peppers are blistered and charred. Remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let them steam for 10 minutes, then uncover and let them cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the peppers and remove the seeds and stems. Slice the peppers into strips 1/2 inch wide. Place the pepper strips in a bowl and dress with remaining olive oil, dried oregano, and kosher salt. Set aside.

To make the patties, add the ground chuck, ground brisket, chopped olives, Zinfandel, cumin, kosher salt and black pepper to a bowl. Mix thoroughly, but make sure not to over mix the meat. Divide the meat mixture into six equal patties, forming them to fit the buns.

Drain and rinse hearts of palm, and slice on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties over, cover, and grill for another 3 to 5 minutes or until done to your liking. Transfer the patties to a serving platter.

Place a medium-sized nonstick fire proof skillet on the grill and allow to heat for a minute or two. When it is hot, place the cheese slices in the pan. Do not crowd the pan, cook in batches if necessary. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the cheese to get crisp on one side, then flip the cheese with a spatula. Cook another minute or two. Remove to a plate, and cut the cheese into 6 pieces to fit the burgers.

Split the buns and grill them, cut side down, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

To assemble the burgers, spread both cut sides of the toasted buns with chimichurri. On the bottom bun, place sliced hearts of palm and a hamburger patty. Top with the sliced onion, provoleta, red pepper strips and the top bun.

Comments 

In Argentina, provolone is cooked directly on the grates of the grill. You can do this as well, but it is a little tricky. The nonstick skillet makes it easier to grill the cheese and gives a similar result.