RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Champs-Elysees Burger

My Dad taught me to not take cooking so seriously and try different combinations. So I started with a goat cheese dish and added arugula and then expanded from there. This is my playful take on classic French ingredients, fresh herbs, dried fruits, and goat cheese.

Ingredients 

Dried Cherry Compote

3 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves
8 ounces (1 cup) dried cherries (sweetened)
1 cup water
¼ cup Sutter Home Merlot
1 tablespoon Colavita Aged balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon red food coloring

Patties

2 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup onions, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 pounds fresh ground chuck (80/20)
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Goat Cheese Disc

8 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped
2 Tablespoon plain bread crumbs
½ cup Panko bread crumbs

Balsamic and Herb Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh dropped basil
1 Tablespoon fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

12 slices thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon

Vegetable oil, for rubbing on the grill rack
6 high-quality hamburger buns, split
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
5 cups baby Arugula

Instructions 

To make the compote, combine shallots, butter, and salt in a 1 quart fireproof saucepan on a gas grill over low heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until shallots are soft and translucent, stirring often. Add the rosemary, dried cherries, water, Merlot, and vinegar and simmer about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The dried cherries will be soft and tender. Take the pan off the grill. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender or when cool, mix in a stand blender until the cherry compote is the consistency of applesauce, about 30 seconds. The sauce should still have some texture to it. Add the food coloring and stir. Set aside until ready to assemble the burgers.

To make the patties, place an 8 inch diameter fireproof skillet on a gas grill over medium heat. When the pan is warm add olive oil, onion, and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté the mixture until the onions are soft and translucent about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute stirring so the garlic does not burn. Take pan off the grill and set aside. In a large bowl, crumble in the raw meat, and then sprinkle in the remaining salt, black pepper and onion mixture. Gently but thoroughly, combine being careful to handle the meat as little as possible to prevent compacting it. Form into 6 equal patties with an indentation in the middle. The patties will swell during cooking and turn out evenly. Set patties aside and keep cold until ready to cook- this will help keep the patties from crumbling during the cooking process.

Cut the goat cheese into 6 equal pieces. Place the pieces of goat cheese one at a time in between two separate sheets of parchment or wax paper. Press down on the cheese with your hands to make 3 inch size discs. Keep cheese cold. Combine egg and water in a shallow bowl or container. In another separate shallow bowl or container combine pistachio nuts, plain bread crumbs, and Panko bread crumbs. Handling one disc at a time, remove the wax paper and dip into the egg wash, and then coat the disc with the breading mixture. Set it aside on a plate. Repeat procedure with the other 5 cheese discs. When completed, refrigerate or place the plate on ice to get the discs very cold and firm before cooking.

To begin preparing the vinaigrette, in a large bowl combine mustard, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and sugar and whisk thoroughly. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly until smooth. Stir in the basil and parsley.
Set aside until ready to assemble the hamburgers.

Cooking

Cook the bacon in a fireproof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, and then transfer to a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap to keep warm. Set aside.

To cook the patties, turn grill on medium-high heat on one side. When grill is hot, rub the grill rack with vegetable oil using a towel. Place patties on the grill and cover. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium. Flip burgers only once and do not smash down with the spatula to prevent loss of juices. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Remove burgers and buns from the grill. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest. On the other side of the grill, place a 12 inch diameter, shallow fireproof skillet and turn grill to medium heat. When pan is warm add the olive oil. Place the discs of goat cheese in the pan when oil is hot. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Flip over when discs are lightly browned. When done take off grill. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

To assemble the burgers, top each bun bottom with a patty and a goat cheese disc. Place Arugula in a bowl with the vinaigrette, and toss to combine. Tower 1/6 of the salad on the top of each cheese-topped patty. Spread cherry compote evenly on the cut side of the 6 bun tops. Then place two strips of bacon on the top of each salad-topped patty. Secure bun tops over bacon with unadorned skewers.

Makes 6 burgers

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