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The Ultimate First Date Burger

This burger highlights how you can make something simple, but at the same time create something ultra gourmet. This burger gets the majority of its panache from the two types of fantastic cheese that are combined – blue cheese folded into the burger and brie on the top. The cheeses, combined with the flavor of the wine soaked dates and the dressed baby greens, really makes this a burger that the best bistros in the world would envy. Cheers.


1 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
12 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil
4 oz mixed baby field greens
2 ½ pounds ground chuck
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
15 oz. high quality blue cheese, crumbled
Canola oil for brushing grill rack
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 fresh bakery rolls, sesame seed Kaiser, split
18 oz high quality brie, sliced 1/8” thick


1. Prepare a medium hot fire in the grill. 2. In a heat proof pot, put one cup Sutter Home Zinfandel and place on grill. When wine comes to a simmer add the dates and keep simmering for 10 minutes. Set aside until you are ready to use. 3. Make the dressing. In a bowl combine the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while quickly whisking. 4. Thoroughly wash and dry the field greens and place in the bowl of dressing. Toss lightly to coat. 5. For the burgers, in a large bowl combine the ground chuck with the salt, pepper and Hungarian paprika. Fold in the blue cheese (careful not to over mix the burgers). Form into six equal patties. 6. Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack. Cook about four minutes and turn the patties over. (Control flare ups with a squirt bottle to ensure proper cooking). Cook about four more minutes for medium. 7. As the burgers finish cooking, spread equal amounts of butter on the tops and bottoms of the rolls. Place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. Remove rolls to a platter when finished toasting and remove each patty directly onto the bottom of each roll. 8. Immediately top burgers with the sliced brie, the wine poached dates and the mixed field greens. Top with roll and enjoy. Makes 6 burgers