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Athenian Spice Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise with Goat Cheese

I grew up in a Greek household and my mother was always in the kitchen coming up with new recipes. I was always the taste tester. Now I am trying out new recipes for this contest on her. The spices I use remind me of the comfort dishes I always ate year around. The vegetables I picked for the recipe are always the ones my mother grilled during the summer days. The fresh goat cheese I've enjoyed in many dishes. My childhood inspired me to come up with this recipe.


Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise:
1 large red bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Grilled Eggplant:
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 6 rounds  1/2-inch thick 
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil, for brushing on grill rack
6 sandwich rolls, split
3/4 cup (6 ounces) fresh goat cheese


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise- Place the red pepper on the open grill and roast until blackened on all sides. 3-5 minutes per side. Place the roasted red pepper in a bowl,cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes. Peel off blackened skin. Cut the pepper down the middle, lengthwise. Remove seeds. Remove stem. Place pepper into blender then add mayonnaise, honey and fresh lemon juice. Process ingredients until well blended. Remove mixture into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until serving. To cook the grill Eggplant- Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil, then salt and pepper. Turn eggplant slices over-Brush eggplant with olive oil, then salt and pepper again. Set aside. To cook the Patties- Combine the chuck, Zinfandel, salt, freshly ground pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the sandwich rolls. When the grill is ready brush the rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once just until done to Preference, 4-5 minutes on each side for medium. Grill the eggplant slices until tender about 3-4 minutes on each side. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the sandwich rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers- Place a gernerous amount of the Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise over the cutsides of the sandwich rolls. Then divide equally, the fresh goat cheese over the roll bottoms, then add an eggplant slice then patty, add roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


I tested this recipe out on my family and friends. They thought the burger was moist and flavorful with just the right amount of spices. The sweetness of the spices matched with the creamy goat cheese made for an excellent combination, as did the tang of the mayonaise matched with grilled flavor of the eggplant. Thank you.