RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Bacon & Spice Crusted Mac Cheese Burgers with Brussels Sprouts Slaw

Ingredients 

1 cup dried macaroni noodles
6 ounces American cheese, grated
3 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon paprika
3 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons fresh ground pepper, divided
Olive oil cooking spray
12 ounces Brussels spouts
1/3 cup grated sweet onion
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces hardwood smoked bacon (preferably uncured), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chilies
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/4 pounds 80% lean fresh ground beef (preferably organic)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
6 fresh Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions 

Bring a grill safe sauce pot filled with salted water to a boil over high heat, on a side burner or directly on the open grill. Add the macaroni and boil until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the macaroni and set aside. Preheat the grill, with the lid closed, to 350 degrees, adjusting flame upwards or downwards as necessary. Combine the macaroni in a mixing bowl with the cheeses. Whisk together in a separate mixing bowl the egg, the milk, the paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and the pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the macaroni and combine. Coat a grill safe 9 inch by 13 inch casserole with the cooking spray. Pour the macaroni mixture into the casserole and smooth into a thin layer. Bake on the grill over indirect heat (or on a raised rack) until brown and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and tent with foil.

Preheat a grill safe sauté pan, coated with cooking spray, on a side burner or in the grill with the baking macaroni. Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts, breaking the slices apart into slaw. Discard the woody stem ends and any solid core pieces. Sweat the Brussels sprouts in the pan until lightly wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk together in a mixing bowl the onion, the ketchup, the sugar, the vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and the pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl, toss, and set aside.

Preheat the grill to medium high. Combine in a food processor the bacon, the wine, the ancho, the brown sugar, the cardamom, the coriander, the cumin, the mustard, the cayenne, the cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Gently combine in a mixing bowl the ground beef, the garlic, the basil, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Form the beef mixture into six equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick, without overworking the meat. Press a slight indentation into the center of each patty. Coat the patties on both sides with the bacon and spice mixture, lightly pressing the mixture into the meat. Spray the patties on both sides with the cooking spray. Grill the patties over direct heat for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until just shy of medium rare to medium. Remove from the heat and tent with foil.

Spray the insides of the rolls with the cooking spray and toast on the grill over indirect heat (or on a raised rack). Remove from the heat and assemble the burgers. Place one patty on each bottom roll. Slice the macaroni and cheese into six equal rectangles and place on each patty. Top each burger with equal amounts of the slaw and finish with the top rolls. Serve the burgers cut in halves and secured with unadorned skewers or toothpicks.