RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Ginger mint burger with wine glaze.

The inspiration for this burger came to me in a flash of creativity one night. I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, and thinking about how I wanted to play with mint and different meats. At the same time, I thought about how ginger is one of my favorite ingredients. Then the lightning bolt struck when I thought, "I wonder what it would taste like if I used mint and ginger with some kind of meat." From there, the recipe just snowballed into an early version of what it is now.

Ingredients 

As needed for grill: peanut oil

Glaze:
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
5 tablespoons of Sutter Home Chardonnay wine
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of corn starch

Patty:
1 ½ pounds 80% lean ground beef
0.2 ounces of mint leaves, cut in a chiffonade and then minced thoroughly
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ounce of peeled of ginger, minced
½ cup water

Bread:
6 individual 4 inch by 4 inch, 3.5 ounce ciabatta buns
6 tablespoons of room temperature butter

Topping:
1.3 ounces of watercress leaves, no stems
2 individual tablespoons of sesame oil

Instructions 

Note: because I have a small grill, I have to complete the six burgers for the full recipe in two batches.

1) Oil the grill to prepare for cooking.

2) Combine ingredients for the glaze in an appropriate sized saucepan. Make sure to stir the glaze ingredients very well to make sure that the cornstarch is fully dissolved.

3) Combine mint leaves, minced garlic cloves, minced ginger and water with hamburger. Work it all together with your hands to incorporate ingredients. Be careful not to overwork the meat, as this will make for an unacceptable texture. It is ok if not all of the water is incorporated into the ground beef.

4) Split hamburger into six patties of equal size. Form patties by hand, and create a divot in the middle of each patty to account for expansion. Once patties are formed, put them in a cool place until they are ready to go onto the grill. It is very important that the hamburger patties are cool when they hit the grill. If they are not cool, then the final texture will be unacceptable. Once the hamburgers are stored in a cool place, start the grill to it can get up to temperature. On my grill, I set the temperature to medium-medium low, on the 3rd large hash mark from the bottom, going clockwise. After the grill is started, slice the ciabatta buns in half horizontally and set aside with the softened unsalted butter.

5) Next, prepare the 1.3 ounces of watercress leaves by removing them from their stems. Set these leaves aside. Measure out the sesame oil into 2 individual tablespoons, but do not combine with the watercress leaves yet.

6) Stir the glaze a few more times with a basting brush and place the saucepan on the grill. Once the pan is on the grill, do not stir it until the cornstarch beings to gelatinize. You will notice the gelatinization beginning to occur when you can see some dark spots in the glaze. At this point, stir it once with a basting brush to finalize the gelatinization process. When the glaze has formed into almost a gel, you want to stir it pretty consistently so it does not burn. You will notice that the glaze is fully gelatinized when it is sticking very aggressively to the basting brush. Once the glaze is fully gelatinized, set it aside for use when the burgers are put on the grill. The glaze will thicken as it sits.

7) Next, put 3 of the cooled hamburger patties on the grill. On my grill, I put the patties down ½ inch above the halfway bar on the grill. Apply glaze on the top side of the patties with the basting brush and put the top down. Cook on the first side for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. While the burgers are cooking, split the ciabatta buns in half horizontally. Also, combine 1 tablespoon of sesame oil with ½ of the watercress leaves. Set aside.

8) After the 4 minutes and 30 seconds are done, lift the lid and flip the burgers. Apply a coating of glaze to the second side of the burgers. Once the glaze is applied, put the sliced ciabatta buns on the grill, cut side down. Let them toast for 25 seconds with the lid down. Then, pull them from the grill, apply ½ tablespoon of butter to each bun half and place back on the grill, cut side UP this time. After another 25 seconds, pull buns and set aside. Make sure to keep the lid down as much as possible during this process. The burgers are going to cook for 3 minutes on the second side, starting from when the glaze is applied to the final burger.

9) Split the watercress/sesame oil mixture evenly between the 3 buns, placing it on the top part of each individual bun.

10) Once the 3 minutes of cook time is completed for the second side of the burgers, remove them from the grill and place them on the top half of the bun, the side with the watercress. Place the bottom half of the ciabatta buns on each burger and flip them over for presentation.

11) Repeat steps 7-10 to complete the second set of 3 burgers to complete the recipe.

12) Let the burgers sit for 5-7 minutes before serving, so the juices have time to settle.

Comments 

My grill at home is a Char-Broil brand AT280 2 burner gas grill. The hot spots on this grill are in the front half, which is why i cook the burgers on the top half of the grill. As mentioned above, this is a small grill, so the recipe needs to be done in two batches.