RECIPES: Recipe Details

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The HOT Date Night Blue Cheese Bacon Burger

I made a salad last winter when visiting Palm Springs with local dates, apples, bacon and blue cheese that was really tasty. Fast forward I came home the other night trying to come up with yet another burger idea, thought of that salad and this is what I came up with-now I like my burger creation better than my salad!

Ingredients 

Date Bacon Ketchup
3 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon cut into 1/2 inch thick crosswise slices
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons apple brandy
1-1/2 cups rough chopped pitted dates
1-1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Green Apple Slaw
2 tablespoons toasted walnut oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 firm medium green apple, cored and julienned
Burgers
2 teaspoons vegetable oil for brushing grill
4 ounces good quality blue cheese, such as Maytag
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2-1/4 pounds freshly ground chicken
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 large seeded Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions 

For Date Bacon Ketchup
Preheat a standard outdoor grill to medium-high direct heat. Cook bacon in a heavy oven-proof medium skillet directly on grill rack stirring occasionally until just crisp. With slotted spoon transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon drippings from skillet. Place skillet back on grill rack and add shallots, saute fro 5 minutes. Pour in apple brandy stirring for 1 minute and scraping any brown bits from skillet. Add dates, water, and maple syrup; stirr occasionally until dates are soft about 10 minutes. Transfer date mixture to food processor, puree until smooth, stir in bacon and set aside. Maintain a medium-high grill.
For Green Apple Slaw
In a medium bowl whisk oil, vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup and salt. Add apple and toss to coat.
For Burgers
Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. In a small bowl mash blue cheese and horseradish with fork to blend then form into six 2-inch round disk.
In a large bowl mix chicken, salt and pepper; divide into 6 portions then form into patties. Make a deep indentation in center of each patty with thumbs, place a blue cheese disk in center of each. Press chicken securely over indentations to enclose. Flatten into 3-inch patties. Grill patties over medium-high direct heat turning once until cooked through about 4 to 5 minutes per side. During the last minutes of grilling lightly toast cut side of rolls.
To Serve
Spread a generous tablespoon of the date mixture on cut side of roll tops. Place burgers on roll bottoms and divide apple slaw on top, last add roll tops. Serves 6