RECIPES: Recipe Details

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This burger has southwest theme with an interesting combinations of flavors from the smoky, spicy chipotle peppers, the sweetness of the raspberry jam and the texture of cilantro-pecan pesto.


3/4 cup pecan pieces
4 cups, packed fresh cilantro (large stems removed) 3 cups for pesto and 1 cup for assembly
2 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon for pesto and 2 tablespoons for patties
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon for pesto and 1 teaspoon for patties
8 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus more for brushing the grill rack, 2 tablespoons for onions and 6 tablespoons for pesto
5 tablespoons puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 2 tablespoons for spread and 3 tablespoons for patties
1- 4 oz. package favorite goat cheese, softened
7 tablespoons raspberry jam, 4 tablespoons for spread and 3 tablespoons for patties
2 large sweet onions (such as Texas 1015 or Vidalia), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Colavita aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend, 1 teaspoon for onions and 1 tablespoon for patties
2 pounds ground chuck
8 oz. favorite pepper jack cheese, sliced
6 sourdough Kaiser rolls, split
3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
2 large avocados (peeled and thinly sliced at last minute to prevent from turning brown)


Directions Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. To make the pesto, when the grill is ready, place the pecan pieces in a large dry fire-proof skillet on the grill rack. Roast pecans until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir often. Remove the pan from the grill and set aside. Place 3 cups (packed) cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the food processor and process until chopped. Add toasted pecans and 6 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse mixture until a paste is formed. Reserve remaining cilantro, garlic, salt and olive oil for later use. To make the goat cheese spread, combine 1/2 cup of the pesto, 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers, goat cheese and 4 tablespoons raspberry jam in a bowl. Use a fork to mix ingredients well and set aside. Reserve the remaining pesto, chipotle peppers and raspberry jam for later use. For the caramelized onions, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, onions, vinegar and 1 teaspoon seasoning blend in a large fire-proof skillet on the grill rack. Cook until the onions are tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir often. Set aside and keep warm. Reserve remaining olive oil and seasoning blend for later use. For the patties, mix together 6 tablespoons reserved pesto, 3 tablespoons chipotle peppers, 3 tablespoons raspberry jam, 2 tablespoons garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon seasoning blend in a large bowl. Add the ground chuck. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide mixture into 6 equal size portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Reserve the remaining pesto for later use. Brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, approximately 4 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, place the sliced cheese on each patty to melt. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the goat cheese spread on both cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place 1/2 cup of lettuce, an equal portion of the caramelized onions and a patty. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto on top of the patty followed by 5 or 6 stems of cilantro and 4 slices of avocado. Add the roll tops and serve.


Makes 6 burgers Janette, Spring, Texas