RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Creamy Olive Avocado Burger With Grilled Peppers and Onions

Memories of olive loaf and cream cheese sandwiches from my childhood inspired my creamy olive avocado burgers. I love to incorporate the full range of sweet and salty tastes as well as pleasing colors when I cook. The sweetness and color of the peppers and onions complement the salty olives and the green avocado spread perfectly. The cream cheese stuffing adds a creamy richness. With college students at home for the summer no matter how busy they are, they never miss dinner when it’s my special burger night.

Ingredients 

Avocado Spread
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 medium avocado, seed removed, halved and peeled
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Grilled Peppers and Onions
1 large red bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced into 1/4” slices, about 2 cups
1 medium – large sweet yellow onion, Vandalia preferred, halved and thinly sliced into 1/4" slices, about 2 - 3 cups
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Heavy aluminum foil
1/4 cup Zinfandel wine
Patties
2 pounds fresh ground chuck beef
4 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced, about 2 Tablespoons
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pimento stuffed green olives
1/4 cup Zinfandel wine
1 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 sheets wax paper
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed into 24 equal pieces
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 Kaiser rolls, split
Olive oil for brushing split surfaces of rolls, about 1/3 cup
Fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the avocado spread, place the cream cheese in a bowl and stir with a fork until it’s smooth and creamy. Place avocado in a bowl and cut into rough chunks. Add the avocado chunks, salt, and pepper to the cream cheese and lightly blend. Refrigerate until burgers are assembled, if possible. To make the peppers and onions, toss peppers and onions with olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper. Make an aluminum foil packet by placing two sheets of foil on top of each other making an “+”. Place the peppers and onions inside the foil folding up the sides so that a bowl or packet is formed. Leave open at the top. Set aside for grilling. To make the patties, combine beef, garlic, chopped green olives, Zinfandel wine, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, placing portions on wax paper. Shape balls into patties to fit buns. On six of the patties place 4 cubed pieces of cream cheese. Top each of these six patties with a patty that does not have cream cheese and seal around the all edges to form a single patty to fit the rolls. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the aluminum foil packet with the peppers and onions on the rack, cover and cook until soft. The onion should be translucent and mixture beginning to brown slightly, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add the ¼ cup Zinfandel wine and continue to cook uncovered until the wine is absorbed and the peppers and onions are glazed, about 3 - 4 minutes. Close the packet up and set aside. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 – 4 minutes. Gently turn the patties as not to break open and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 – 6 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, brush the cut surfaces of the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper; place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread the top bun with the avocado spread, place a burger on a bottom bun and top with peppers and onions. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.