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"Double-Dutch" Burgers with Roode Kool & Komijnekaas (red cabbage and cumin cheese)

This recipe is inspired by my husband’s historic hometown – Pella, Iowa, which will celebrate its 74th Tulip Time in May 2009. My mother-in-law gave me her treasured "Recepten van de Haagsche Kookschool" [published 1900] and taught me how to "kook de kool," the familiar sweet and spicy red cabbage. It was also in Pella where I first tasted authentic komijnekaas, which began my love affair for all things cumin. Leyden cheese is now nationally available, but if it is difficult to find, I’ve included a substitution using gouda.
Now living closer to "New Amsterdam" (NYC), I recommend energy-boosting Double Dutch Burgers as a delicious and flavorful way to celebrate the latest contribution of the Dutch to America, when "Double Dutch" officially becomes a varsity sport in NYC schools in 2009. The earliest Dutch immigrants taught this energetic jumping rope game to their New Amsterdam neighbors in the 1600s.

Ingredients 

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage ("Roode Kool")
Yields: ¼ cup topping per each burger
3 cups shredded red cabbage (refrigerated pre-packaged is fine)
6 tablespoons bottled prepared grated horseradish with beets
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (6% acidity)
3 tablespoons sugar
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Double Dutch Patties

2 pounds Angus ground beef (85-15)
2 tablespoons minced green onions, including some green parts
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons diced Leyden cumin cheese (1/4-inch dice, about 2 ounces total)*
Additional salt and pepper to taste (including Bacon Salt, if available)

6 multi-grain, split Kaiser rolls (or similar)
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons yellow "ballpark" mustard
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

30 baby spinach leaves

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat 2/3 of gas grill burners to medium-high and 1/3 to medium.

In fire-proof 2-quart saucepan (non-reactive metal with tightly fitting cover), combine all red cabbage ingredients. Set aside while shaping patties.

To shape patties, divide beef into six equal portions. Place one portion on a sheet of parchment paper and gently press into a six-inch circle (about 3/8-inch thick). Evenly distribute 1 teaspoon green onions over surface. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of cheese in a mound in the center of patty. Bring outside edges to the center so no cheese is exposed. Gently press surface of burger and smooth outer edges into a round (approximately 4-inch diameter). Repeat with remaining burgers. Lightly season outside surfaces (tops and bottoms) of patties with additional salt (half kosher salt and half bacon salt, if available) and pepper.

In small bowl, mix together butter and mustards. Spread about ½ teaspoon on each cut surface of rolls.

Ten minutes before you start grilling burgers, place pan with cabbage on section of grill with medium heat. Cover grill. Ten minutes later, stir cabbage. Oil grill bars on medium-high section, place burgers on grill, close cover. If using grill surface thermometer, reading should be approximately 400 degrees. Cook burgers until bottoms are seared, about 3 minutes.
Stir cabbage; reduce this section of grill temperature to low. Turn burgers; cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium.

During the final minutes of grilling the burgers, lightly toast rolls, cut-sides down, on the cooler outer edges of the grill.

Top the base of each roll with five baby spinach leaves, add burger, spoon over ¼ cup red cabbage, add roll tops and serve.

Makes six burgers

*Note: If Leyden or other Dutch cumin cheese is not available, use gouda plus ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds.

Comments 

To me, the bumper stickers around Pella may be somewhat strident: "You're Not Much if You're Not Dutch." But, I do believe it's time for the Dutch culinary contributions to American cuisine (cookies, too!) to get the respect and accolades they deserve.