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Grilled Pear Grigio Burger with Watercress Plum Sauce

The cool fruitiness of pear, plum and Sutter Home pinot grigio blends gorgeously with the zesty heartiness of the pepper-infused chuck patty. It brings back memories of back yard picnics from summers of a bygone era.

Ingredients 

2 lbs. of ground chuck (80/20)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic (pressed)
olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for grilling grate
3 Bartlet pears (cored and halved)
6 onion poppy ciabatta sandwich rolls
7 ounces of Gouda cheese (sliced)
3 red plums (cored and sliced)
1 1/2 tablespoons of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 cups of torn watercress

Instructions 

Load approximately 30 charcoal briskets into a standard aluminum ignition stack. Light from bottom, allow coals to heat for twenty minutes. Pour lighted coals onto lower coal tray in kettle grill. Apply light coat of olive oil or non-stick cooking spray to grill grate. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix ground chuck, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic together. Mix well using hands. Take one cup of ground chuck and press gently into a patty using a burger press. Repeat until you have six patties. Place patties onto hot grill grate. Grill each side for seven minutes. Remove from grill and keep the patties warm. Set aside.

Place Bartlett pear halves cut-side down onto grill grate. Arrange pear halves over the outer edges of the coals. Grill pear halves for two minutes. Remove from heat and place into a bowl. Set aside. Place sliced ciabatta rolls cut-side down onto hot grill grate. Arrange ciabatta roll halves on the grill grate in a way that positions them around the outer edges of the coals so they receive indirect heat. Grill for two minutes. Remove ciabatta rolls and place on serving tray. Remove wax casing from the Gouda cheese wheel. Slice the Gouda as you would a pie so that there are six slices. Set aside. Place plums, Sutter Home Pinot Grigio, and sugar into a food blender and blend for eight seconds. Pour plum sauce into a serving cup. Set aside.

Burger Assembly:

Onto the center of a ciabatta roll half, place one chuck patty. Slice each Bartlett pear half horizontally into two slices. Place two slices of pear on top of chuck patty. Place one slice of Gouda cheese on top of the pear slices. Top the cheese with two tablespoons of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio plum sauce. Top sauce with 1/4 cup of torn watercress. Place remaining half of ciabatta roll on top of watercress. Secure burger assembly with an unadorned toothpick. Repeat these steps until you have six fully-assembled burgers. Serve immediately on a serving platter.

Comments 

It's flavors alone make this a tremendously satisfying burger experience, but there is so much more to this creation that bears mentioning. I was surprised and enthused by the exciting combination of colors, temperature, looks, and textures brought together with this burger. It looks good, feels good, and tastes great!