RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Surf & Turf “Imperiale” Burger

The inspiration for this recipe came from melding some classic but rarely joined tastes. Traditionally seafood is not considered a match with hamburger, however this recipe subtly melds them using avocado. The burger patties themselves are perfected by the additional fat and flavor of the Foie Gras. The wine reduction adds moisture and depth to the taste of burger, as well as being a natural pairing with the Foie Gras. Together the ingredients conspire to offer a luxurious, almost decadent taste.


Ingredients Crab & Avocado Topping:
½ tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Sutter Home 2004 Pinot Grigio
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ shallot, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 California Avocado, coarsely chopped
2 - (3.5oz) packages, Premium Crab Meat
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ½ shallot, minced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ cups Sutter Home 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Select
Burger Patties:
1 2/3 pounds ground chuck
1/3 pound Mousse Imperiale (includes foie gras and sauternes), discard aspic
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 pre-split Kaiser Buns with corn meal
Additional Ingredients:
1/3 pound Caicotta al Tartufo cheese, shaved
1 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Directions Preparation: Preheat gas grill to medium-high. (If a side burner is not available, remove grill racks before lighting. It may be necessary to prepare the reduction with the skillet placed lower than standard grill height. Replace grill rack after completion of reduction.) To make the topping: Combine the lemon juice, pinot grigio, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and shallot in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Thoroughly drain crab, spread over a paper towel covered a plate. Blot crab and screen for any shell or cartilage. Gently fold the avocado and crab into the mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving. To make the reduction: Place large skillet on medium-high flame. Once at temperature, add oil and shallot. Stir continuously until shallot lightly browned, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and salt. Stir occasionally until liquid reduced to 25% of original volume, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to covered container, refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. To make the patties: Place the beef in a large bowl. Gently distribute the mousse over the surface of the beef. Drizzle the reduction over the beef and mousse. Mix well, however avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties. Lay patties on a platter, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before grilling. To prepare rolls: Place small skillet on medium-high flame. Add butter and oil. Remove skillet from flame once butter is melted, stir to combine. Using a kitchen brush apply mixture to cut sides of the rolls. Cover rolls and set aside. Cooking instructions: Liberally brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and rotate the patties, continue grilling until done to preference, about 4 to 5 minutes longer for medium. During the last few minutes of grilling, place the rolls cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. Assembly: Place burgers on bottom half of roll and add a layer of the shaved cheese. Gently scoop 1/6 of the topping onto each burger. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers


If mousse with Foie Gras is not available locally, (or not desired by preference) a mousse of pork & chicken liver is the best substitute.