RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Three-Pepper Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

This is a humble burger with loads of flavor - easy for the busy home cook to prepare, but impressive for serving to guests or family on any night of the year.


1 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel wine
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil, plus additional for brushing grill rack
2 large white onions
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
6 bolo or other rustic rolls, split
6 leaves red leaf lettuce 18 on-the-vine tomato slices (approximately 5 tomatoes)


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. Heat Sutter Home Zinfandel wine in a small, fire-proof heavy sauce pan on grill until liquid begins to simmer; remove from heat. Add dried porcini mushrooms to the wine and stir with a fork to ensure all mushrooms are moistened. Allow mushrooms to reconstitute for at least 30 minutes. Gently squeeze excess liquid from mushrooms and, using a chef's knife, chop; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, cast iron or other fire-proof skillet on grill rack. Cut onions in half, then in half-ring slices 1/4 inch thick. Add onions to skillet and saute for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and golden brown. Add 1 teaspoon salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until onions are dark brown and caramelized. Remove skillet from heat; set aside. In a small bowl combine goat cheese, sour cream and black pepper; set aside. In a large bowl gently combine ground chuck, mushrooms, garlic, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and white pepper. Divide into 6 equal portions and form patties in the shape of the rolls with hands. Brush grill rack with olive oil. Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Turn patties, cover and cook and additional 4 minutes or until done to preference. Warm the buns cut-side down over indirect heat during the last few minutes of grilling the patties. To assemble burgers, spread the bottom buns with goat cheese mixture and top with the patties, onions, lettuce, tomato slices (3 per burger), and bun tops.


Serves 6