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Farm Fresh Hoosier Burger

One of our local amusement park's slogan is "There's more than corn in Indiana!" How true--in fact, Indiana is a major agricultural state with a very diverse farming industry. Our state is responsible for a significant percentage of the nations pork, soy, dairy and other wonderful crops, including mint and watermelon (the sweetest and juiciest in the country!). So in making my Farm Fresh Hoosier Burger, the goal was to cram as many of these wonderfully delicious Indiana treats as I could into one delectable burger. Take one bite and you will say, "Wow, there IS more than corn in Indiana!"

Ingredients 

Watermelon Mayo
1 1/2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic dill pickle

Corn Relish
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1/3 cup chopped, seeded cucumber
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Patties
2 pounds freshly ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted and salted soynuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon salt

12 slices thick cut bacon

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices Amish butter cheese
6 pretzel buns, split
3 cups pre-washed bagged baby arugula

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Place watermelon cubes in a small food processor and process until liquified. Remove liquid from processor and pour into a small, heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place saucepan onto grill and cook watermelon juice over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1/3 cup (5-8 minutes). Remove from heat and cool thoroughly. Combine with mayonnaise, mint and pickle and refrigerate until needed.

In a medium bowl, combine corn, red onion, tomato, cucumber, lime juice, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

To make the patties, combine the ground pork, garlic, soy nuts, sage and salt in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Form into 6 equal patties the approximate dimensions of the buns, making a slight depression in the middle of the patties to compensate for the tendency to bulge during cooking. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Grill the patties with the grill top closed for 4 minutes. Turn and grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 160 degrees F, about 4 minutes longer. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble each burger, spread 1 tablespoon of the watermelon mayo on the cut side of each bun bottom and 1 to 2 tablespoons on the cut side of each bun top. Place 1/6th of the arugula on each bun bottom and top with 1/6th of the corn relish. Place patty on corn relish, followed by 2 slices of bacon and bun top.

Makes 6 burgers