RECIPES: Recipe Details

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"Mushroom Capital of the World" Burger (a.k.a. ground gourmet mushrooms and caramelized onions burger in a red wine reduction with roasted red peppers and a chevre spread)

Living only 15 minutes from Kennett Square, the "mushroom capital of the world", I have been able to experiment with many different varieties of mushrooms. Only about 1000 of the nearly 40,000 species of mushrooms are edible, but that still allows for an abundance of versatile flavors above and beyond the everyday button mushroom. The meatiness of these ground mushrooms creates a deceptive beef-like texture that makes for a fantastic burger. Thanks to my love of cooking and my background in science, I think I have perfected a very unique ultimate mushroom burger recipe. It's my daughters' favorite meal. Friends and family love it and always have the same reaction… "This is a mushroom burger?!?"

Ingredients 

2 cedar grilling planks, approximately 15 inches x 8 inches
1 bottle of Sutter Home Pinot Noir

3/4 pound ground bacon (can be finely chopped)

Caramelized Onions
2 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large thinly sliced onions

Roasted Red Peppers
1 tablespoon reserved bacon drippings
3 red peppers

Mushroom Medley
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups Sutter Home Pinot Noir
1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup morel mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Chevre Spread
1/4 cup chopped caramelized onion (above)
6 ounces chevre cheese
1/8 teaspoon hot paprika

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 seedless hamburger buns, split

Instructions 

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

Put 1 1/2 cups of the wine in a separate bowl. In a container large enough to fit the planks, pour in the remaining bottle of wine. Place the planks in the container with the wine and add enough water to submerge the planks. Fill the empty Sutter Home bottle with water and use to weigh down the planks for at least one hour. Use additional cans to weigh down if necessary.

Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook just until done. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon drippings in another bowl.

To prepare the caramelized onions, place 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings in the skillet and set the skillet back on the grill. Add the butter and onions to the pan and cook until the onions caramelize, about 25 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup of the onions and pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Remove this portion to a bowl, cover with foil to keep warm and set aside.

To prepare the roasted peppers, rub 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon drippings over the entire skin of the red peppers. Place the peppers on the grill over direct heat. Turn frequently until all parts of the skin are charred. Remove the peppers from the grill and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl airtight with plastic wrap and let them steam for 10 minutes. Peel off the skins and remove the stems and seeds. Cut the peppers into julienne strips and set aside.

To prepare the mushroom mixture, add the garlic to the skillet with remaining caramelized onions. Add the reserved 1 1/2 cups wine and deglaze pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the chanterelle, morel, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, salt, cumin, pepper, cardamom and allspice. Cook until all of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from the grill. When slightly cooled (about 5 minutes) put mushroom mixture and bacon in a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove to a bowl and add bread crumbs, egg and egg yolk. Mix well. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size and set aside.

Make the chevre spread while the mushrooms are cooking by combining the 1/4 cup caramelized onion, chevre cheese and paprika. Mix well.

When the grill and planks are ready, remove the planks from the water and place the planks on the grill rack and close the cover. After 5 minutes, flip the planks so charred side is up and brush the charred side with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the planks and cover. Keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby to extinguish any flare-ups. Grill for 6-7 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, on each bun bottom place one patty followed by equal portions of the cheese spread and roasted red peppers. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers