RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Garlic-rific Burgers with Spicy Curry Slaw and Fresh-Made Mint Cheese

Ingredients 

For the Spicy Curry Slaw:
2/3 cup crystallized ginger, very finely minced
3 Tbsp curry powder (I like to use 2 Tbsp of hot curry powder and 1 Tbsp of sweet curry powder, but 3 Tbsp of any curry powder will be just fine)
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 small to medium head of napa cabbage, finely sliced into thin strips
1 bunch of scallions, sliced

For the patties:
2 pounds of ground chuck
1 head fresh garlic, very finely minced
1/3 cup very finely minced jarred jalapenos
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

For the Mint Cheese:
½ gallon of whole milk
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup very finely minced fresh mint

Vegetable oil for greasing the grill
6 egg-style hamburger buns, split in half
¼ pound white cheddar, thinly sliced

Instructions 

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

To make the spicy curry slaw: Combine the crystallized ginger, curry powder, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper, in a cup. Using the back of a spoon, press the crystallized ginger into the sides of the cup repeatedly while stirring to best mix the flavors. Set aside 3 Tbsp of the dressing and toss the remaining dressing with the cabbage and scallions in a bowl, cover both the reserved dressing and the slaw with plastic wrap, and set aside.

To assemble the patties, mix the chuck, garlic, jalapenos, salt, and pepper together thoroughly – being careful to handle as little as possible. Form into 6 patties, place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.

To make the mint cheese, place a stainless steel pot on the grill grate, and pour the milk into it. Ultimately, the milk needs to be heated to between 180-200 degrees. While the grill lid should be closed to enable this heating, you will need to regularly open the grill to stir the milk and check the temperature. Once the milk reaches the temperature range, add the apple cider vinegar to it. Quickly stir the mixture, place a lid on the pot, and remove it from the grill. Allow the mixture to sit for 2 minutes. Lift the lid, and pour the mixture of curds and whey into a strainer lined with a dishtowel, butter muslin, or cheesecloth to catch the curds. The whey will just pour away leaving only the fresh curds. Shake and rotate the strainer for a few moments to finish pouring off the whey – stop as soon as the texture begins to resemble ricotta. Dump the curds into a bowl and stir in the salt until well combined and then stir in the mint. Cover your freshly made cheese with plastic wrap and place in a cool space until you are ready to assemble the burgers.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and allow to cook 5-6 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached. During the last minute or two of cooking, place the buns on the grill to toast and top the burgers with the white cheddar to melt.

To assemble the burgers, spread the mint cheese on both sides of each bun. Top both sides with ¾ tsp each (1 ½ tsp per whole burger bun) of reserved dressing. Place burgers on bottom bun halves, top with equal portions of slaw, and top with the bun top halves.

Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

Note: While you might be tempted to use fresh jalapenos in the burgers (instead of jarred), don’t! The juiciness and the saltiness of the jarred jalapenos make a valuable contribution to the burger’s flavor and texture.

Comment: This is a considerable retooling of a recipe I submitted for your 2007 contest. I was delighted to read in the rules that I could do so as I had always felt this burger could be really great if some changes were made. It’s exactly what I want it to be now. Thank you for the inspiration to return to the drawing board on it!