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Cherry Trio Cheeseburger with a "Cherry Sauvignon" Jam, Grilled Cherry Salad, and Saffron-Scented Cherry Mayonnaise

Having enjoyed watching my share of cooking shows, I recently noticed the trend of manipulating a single ingredient to show its versatility and ability to enhance a main dish. In creating and testing this recipe, I wanted to bring out the natural flavor of cherries in a variety of ways: Sweet in the jam fortified with wine, savory-smoke when grilled, and a zesty-floral quality in the mayonnaise. Together, combined with tart apple, peppery arugula, creamy-earthy cheese and a flavorful herbed patty, you have a burger packed with flavor!

Ingredients 

"Cherry Sauvignon" Jam

2 cups Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon

3 cups cherries, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Grilled Cherry Salad

1 ½ cups whole cherries, pitted

1 teaspoon Colavita olive oil

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon grated ginger, with juices

1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup good quality mayonnaise

3/4 cup diced (small) Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored

Saffron-Scented Cherry Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon

1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon (packed) saffron threads

1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise

Herbed Patties

2 1/4 pounds freshly ground beef chuck (20% fat)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup grated Vidalia, or other sweet onion

3 tablespoons Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped

1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for seasoning the grill

12 ounces Camembert cheese, rind removed and cut into thick slices

6 Potato Rolls, split

1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula, washed and stem-ends removed

Instructions 

To make the cherry sauvignon jam, combine the wine, cherries, sugar, fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and salt in a large, fire-proof saucepan and place on a gas grill over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often, and reduce to approximately 1 cup (1 to 1 ½ hours). Remove from heat and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm until grilling patties.

To prepare the grilled cherry salad, begin by heating the grill to medium-high and lightly coating the pitted cherries with the olive oil in a bowl. Transfer cherries to a mesh grill pan and grill, shaking or turning the cherries frequently, until softened and showing light grill marks, 5-7 minutes. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with the salt before allowing the cherries to cool. Chop the cooled grilled cherries, place in a clean bowl, and add the ginger, fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Fold in the diced apples, cover, and refrigerate until burger assembly.

To make the saffron-scented cherry mayonnaise, combine the wine, dried cherries and saffron threads in a small, fire-proof, saucepan on a grill over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced to approximately 1 tablespoon, 8-10 minutes. Cover the saucepan, remove from heat, and allow cherries to rest for at least 30 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and stir thoroughly with the mayonnaise. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To make the herbed patties, spread the ground chuck out in a large, shallow bowl. Add the garlic, onions, wine, thyme, basil, salt and pepper to the beef and mix until just combined using a large spoon. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties the shape of the buns with a slight center indentation. Set aside and keep cool until grilling.

Heat the grill to medium-high and, with a cloth or brush, apply a layer of vegetable oil to the rack. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Flip the patties, spread the top of each with a heaping tablespoon of the cherry sauvignon jam, and cook until done to preference (an additional 3-5 minutes for medium). Turn the patties again and move off direct heat. Distribute the remaining jam equally to each patty followed by an equal division of the Camembert cheese slices. Cover the grill to allow the cheese to melt, about 1 minute. Remove the patties and tent with aluminum foil to rest while placing the buns cut side down on the edges of the grill to toast (1-2 minutes).

To assemble the burgers, stir the mayonnaise before spreading an equal portion on each toasted bun top. On each toasted bun bottom, spread a heaping spoonful of the grilled cherry salad followed by an equal distribution of the baby arugula and top with a cheesy, jam-glazed patty. Add the bun tops and serve. Cheers!

Makes 6 Burgers

Comments 

Note: Cherries are a summer fruit and when in season, fresh is best! I have seen imported cherries as late as November in my local supermarket. When unable to buy fresh, frozen fruit has increased in quality and allows many summer-specific cherry recipes to be prepared year-round. For the components of the Cherry Trio Cheeseburger, frozen and fresh cherries work equally well in the jam. When using frozen cherries to grill, measure while frozen and allow them to thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, then grill as directed, decreasing time to 3-5 minutes.