RECIPES: Recipe Details
2 pounds freshly ground chuck
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
Grilled Baby Tomatoes
6 sprigs fresh rosemary or 6 wooden skewers soaked in water
24 grape or pear tomatoes
Wild Mushroom Sauté
3 tablespoons Colavita olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
Swiss Chard Gratin
1 tablespoon Colavita olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 pound Swiss chard or fresh spinach, tough stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, preferably peppercorn mix
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup finely grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup crushed Cape Cod Parmesan and Roasted Garlic potato chips
6 soft, whole wheat or multi-grain rolls or buns, split
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with cover. To make the patties, combine the ground chuck, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and gently mix well, handling the beef as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the meat into 6 equal portions and shape patties to fit the bun size, making them about 3/4 to 1-inch thick.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill. Prepare additional ingredients according to the current season as outlined below. Then proceed to grill the burgers. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and grill until golden brown and seared on the bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and continue to grill until desired doneness, about 4 to 6 minutes.
To prepare the tomato skewers, remove all the leaves from the rosemary sprigs except the top inch; reserve leaves for mushroom sauté. Skewer the tomatoes on the sprigs (or wooden skewers); set aside until last stages of grilling. To prepare mushrooms, heat oil in a heavy, fireproof skillet. Add shallots and sauté over lower heat area of the grill, stirring, until just softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add butter, mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and thyme and cook several minutes more. Remove from grill and cover to keep warm.
To prepare chard, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy, fireproof skillet on the grill. Add the chard and cook, stirring, until leaves are wilted and liquid evaporates; remove from grill. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a separate heavy, nonstick, fireproof skillet on the grill. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute. Move the pan to a lower heat area of the grill, whisk in flour, and cook, stirring continually, until mixture begins to turn light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and cook, stirring continually, until smooth and thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and cheese and continue to stir until smooth and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes; fold chard into sauce. Remove from grill, cover and keep warm.
About 6 to 8 minutes before the burgers are ready, add the tomato skewers to the grill. Cook, turning once, until the skins begin to burst, about 5 to 7 minutes. During last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly.
To assemble, spoon mushrooms onto bottom halves of rolls; add patties. Remove tomatoes from one skewer directly onto to each patty. Top each with creamed chard and sprinkle evenly with crushed chips. Add roll tops and gather near the fire to enjoy the warmth.
This recipe was inspired by the many winters I dug through the Vermont snow to grill burgers. The ingredients are readily available, even in the coldest of climates and the end is result is warm and filling----perfect after a day of skiing or other winter sports. My favorite way to enjoy them is nestled by the fire with a large glass of Sutter Home Pinot Noir.
The Cape Cod Parmesan and Roasted Garlic potato chips provide an easy gratin topping with incredible flavor. If you don't want to wait for winter, substitute whatever mushrooms are available. The saute' with Baby Bella (Cremini) mushrooms, as well as many other varieties. Salut.