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Cherry-Serrano Glazed Burgers with Pecan-Studded Goat Cheese and Candied Shallot & Arugula Slaw

For a Surf and Turf Salad I made for dinner one night, I quickly created a cherry-serrano vinaigrette to go with it. Thus was born one of my favorite sweet and spicy complements for beef...the flavors work well together...the sweet and spicy flavors balance one another, the pecan-studded goat cheese cools it all down and the Candied Shallot and Arugula Slaw rounds it out!


Cherry-Serrano Glaze:
1 small serrano chili pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/2 cup black cherry preserves
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
¼ tsp. salt
Pecan-studded Goat Cheese:
4 ounces goat cheese
¼ cup chopped pecans
Candied Shallot and Argula Slaw:
2 TBS butter
2 TBS brown sugar
2 large shallots, sliced thin
1 ½ cups fresh arugula
Pinch of salt
1 TBS olive oil
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. salt Vegetable Oil, for brushing grill rack
6 sweet onion rolls, sliced in half
3 TBS. of olive oil


Heat the gas grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk together your Serrano pepper, cherry preserves, balsamic vinegar, ginger and salt. Cover and set aside. In another small bowl, fold together your goat cheese and chopped pecans. Cover and store in a cool place. In a medium skillet on your preheated grill, melt your butter and brown sugar together. Add your thinly-sliced shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove shallots and let cool before tossing with your arugula, salt, and tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside until ready to assemble burgers. Mix your ground chuck, garlic, and salt in a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of your cherry-serrano glaze before folding the mixture together with your hands until just combined. Form 6 equal patties. Brush your grill rack with vegetable oil. Put your burgers on the grill, flipping once after 4 minutes and brushing with your Cherry-Serrano Glaze constantly. Cook for another 5-6 minutes for medium doneness and continue to brush with glaze. A couple minutes before the burgers are ready, brush the cut sides of your sweet onion rolls with olive oil and put on the grill to toast lightly. When everything is ready, assemble burgers – place a glazed patty on each bottom bun, top with a generous amount of Candied Shallot and Arugula Slaw, and finish with a top bun smeared liberally with Pecan-studded goat cheese. Enjoy! Serves 6