RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Orange-Ginger-Chipotle Burgerwith Pickled Lettuce Slaw and Chunky Ricotta Salata Spread

I love the flavor of orange and beef!

Ingredients 

Orange Ginger Reduction:

4 cups fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained from any seeds

2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

Patties:

1 tablespoon ground chipotle pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup yellow onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

2 1/4 pounds ground chuck (80% Lean)

Pickled Lettuce Slaw:

3 cups romaine hearts, rough chiffonade

1 1/2 cups kosher dill pickles, sliced into matchstick pieces

3 tablespoons juice from pickle jar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Ricotta Salata Spread:

1 cup ricotta salata cheese*, small dice

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Vegetable oil for grilling

6 sesame seed buns, split

Instructions 

Preparation:

1. Pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (350 degrees F)

2. In a fireproof saucepan, bring orange juice, lemon juice, and ginger to a boil. Move saucepan to medium-low heat and continue to simmer until reduced to a thick maple syrup consistency, approximately 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. If reduction appears too thick, you may thin with extra orange juice. 4 cups should yield approximately ¾ cups when reduced. Remove reduction from saucepan and set aside.

3. To make the patties, combine ground chipotle pepper and kosher salt in a small ramekin and mix together until well blended. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the yellow onion, garlic, ground chuck, and chipotle/salt blend. Mix all together until well incorporated. Form into 6 equal size patties and set aside until ready to grill.

4. To make the pickled lettuce slaw, combine romaine lettuce, pickles, pickle juice, and kosher salt in a separate mixing bowl and set aside.

5. To make the ricotta salata spread, combine the ricotta salata, whole milk ricotta, parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon zest, and kosher salt in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to build your burger.

Grilling and Serving:

6. On a clean and hot grill, brush grill with vegetable oil using paper towels and pair of tongs. Grill burgers 6 minutes on one side, flipping once and continue to grill for 4 minutes until fully cooked. Briefly toast sesame seed buns on outer edge of grill.

7. To assemble burgers spread generous amount of the ricotta salata spread on cut-side of bottom and top halves of bun. Mound equal portions of pickled lettuce slaw onto bottom bun and then slide patty on top. Spoon orange-ginger reduction on top of patty and replace top half of bun. Serve.

Comments 

When I first conceptualized this recipe, I wanted to re-create the classic orange and beef flavor combo in the form of a burger. When testing the recipe, I first used whole sliced oranges, but found the flavor was a little insipid and could not stand up against the savory beef. I then tried the orange juice reduction, and surprisingly found this a better option, which really intensified the orange flavor with the added element of ginger. To reduce any bitterness, which often occurs in an orange juice reduction, I added a little lemon juice to tame the bitterness and balance the flavors. To complete the burger, I added a sourness element from the pickled slaw and a saltiness element from the Ricotta Salata cheese.

*If ricotta salata is not available at your local market, you may substitute with Mexican cotija or Greek feta.