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New York Waldorf Burger

I was born and raised in New York and have lived in Manhattan for the past six years. One of the classic dishes that New York is known for is the Waldorf salad, which was invented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City in the 1890s. While the original salad consisted only of apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise, today it has many variations. To create this great local American treat, I decided to incorporate all of the classic flavors of the Waldorf salad into my burger with some twists. Instead of the blue cheese dressing that I like, I incorporated crumbled blue cheese into the patties. The walnut mayonnaise nicely balances the flavors of the patties while the apples and celery in the Waldorf slaw add a delightful crunch. I also use dried cranberries, which add a touch of sweetness. Hopefully when you try this burger, you'll feel like you're dining at a 5 star hotel.

Ingredients 

Patties:
2 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 cup grated onion
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Walnut Spread:
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper to taste

Waldorf Slaw:
1 1/2 Granny Smith apples
2 stalks celery
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries

3 tablespoons canola oil, for brushing grill
6 good-quality hamburger buns

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
To prepare the patties, place the ground chuck in a large bowl with the grated onion, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and mix together. Add the blue cheese crumbles and mix to distribute throughout the meat. Form into 6 patties, making a slight indentation in the center so that the burgers cook evenly. Cover and set aside.
Prepare the walnut spread. Heat a large, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Place the walnuts in the skillet and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and place toasted walnuts in a mini food processor along with the mayonnaise and buttermilk. Process until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the Waldorf slaw, cut the Granny Smith apples and celery into matchsticks. Whisk the apple cider vinegar, sugar, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Add the apple and celery pieces as well as the dried cranberries. Toss to combine well. Set aside.
When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook 4-6 minutes on each side for medium. 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, spread some Walnut spread on the cut sides of the top buns. Place a patty on each bun bottom. Top with a small mound of Waldorf Slaw. Add the bun tops and serve.
This recipe makes 6 servings.