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"KONA" BURGER WITH MERLOT GRILLED PINEAPPLE, HAWAIIAN MAYONNAISE, SMOKED HAM, AVOCADO, AND GRUYERE CHEESE

After visiting Hawaii Kona island on vacation, I decided to create a burger that would represent the Hawaiian culture and capture the memories I had touring all the islands. I fell in love with Kona black sand beaches so I created a burger for my favorite island. There is nothing like a fresh pineapple picked from the fields of Hawaii. Aloha !!

Ingredients 

Ingredients:

Merlot Grilled Pineapple:

1 Fresh ripe pineapple, removed the skin, sliced 1/4 inch thickness rings, core removed
1/4 cup Sutter Home Merlot wine
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Hawaiian Mayonnaise:

1 1/4 cups Mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 Tablespoon Orange marmalade jam
2 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Patties

2 pounds ground chuck
1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice
2 shallots, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil, for brushing the grill rack and buns.

6 Slices Smoked Ham, thinly sliced

6 slices of Gruyere Cheese, each 1/4 inch thick. (If you can't find Gruyere, use Swiss cheese in its place.)

6 King Hawaiian buns, split

2 ripe California Haas avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced

Instructions 

Directions:

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

To prepare the Merlot Grilled Pineapple, in a medium bowl, whisk together the Merlot, lime juice and brown sugar. Add 6 pineapple rings only and toss to coat and pour into a plastic zip lock bag. Let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Brush the grill with olive oil and place the pineapple rings on the grill. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning frequently, until the outside is slightly caramelized. Remove from grill and set aside.

To make the Hawaiian Mayonnaise, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, heavy cream, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, orange marmalade, garlic, salt, ground pepper and cayenne until smooth. Set aside in a refrigerator.

To prepare the patties, In a large bowl, add the chuck, pineapple juice, shallot, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and ground pepper. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Gently mix together using a large spoon. Form into 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to grill.

Brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 5
minutes. Turn the patties, cover and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. During the last 2 to 3 minutes of grilling the patties, add a slice of smoked ham and a slice of Gruyere cheeses on top of each patty in that order. During the same time, brush the buns with olive oil and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack and toast lightly to golden brown.

To assemble the burger, slather the bottom toasted side of the buns with some of the Hawaiian Mayonnaise and add the patty. On top of each patty place pineapple ring, 3 slices of avocado and a large dollop of the Hawaiian Mayonnaise. Add the toasted bun top with wooden skewers and serve immediately.

Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

NOTE: If you cannot get fresh pineapple juice, used Dole Pineapple juice.
Merlot wine must be at room temperature. If you can't find Gruyere, use Swiss cheese in its place.