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Truck Garden Grill Burgers

Growing up in the Midwest on a small farm, my childhood memories are made up of county fairs, daily chores, late night fishing and hand churned ice cream. Reminiscing over family stories is a delight, especially with Grandma. One interesting farm fact she would refer to in her stories were the old truck gardens her family tended. She explained how the truck garden got its name from the need to use the truck to haul the fruits and vegetables, due to the large size of the produce: such as melons, pumpkins and bushels of apples. Her stories inspired me to develop my Truck Garden Grill Burgers which combine flavors from the truck garden with additional homegrown produce. These burgers offer tribute to the Midwest farmers and their legacy -making them a great local American burger.

Ingredients 

Patties:
2 pounds ground chuck beef
1 large cored, finely chopped Fuji apple
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 cloves finely minced fresh garlic

Glaze:
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
1 clove finely minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup peach preserves
1/4 cup BBQ sauce

Topping:
6 slices Muenster cheese (2.5 ounces)

Buns:
2 tablespoons softened butter
6 split corn-dusted Kaiser hamburger rolls

Extras:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil - for grill rack

Instructions 

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Prepare the patties - by mixing together in a large bowl the patty ingredients of ground beef, apples, onion and garlic. Using equal portions of the meat mixture, make 6 round patties to fit the size of the buns. Set patties aside on a tray lined with wax paper. Cover loosely with another sheet of wax paper.

Prepare the glaze - by placing the glaze ingredients of red pepper, onion, garlic and Colavita extra virgin olive oil in a small, heavy grill-proof pan. Toss the ingredients lightly to coat with the olive oil. Set the pan of ingredients aside. Reserve the peach preserves and BBQ sauce to add later.

Prepare the topping - by cutting each slice of cheese in half in a diagonal cut to equal 12 diagonal slices. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set aside.

Prepare the buns - by spreading cut sides of both tops and bottoms of the buns lightly with the softened butter, dividing evenly. Return the buns to their bag to keep them fresh.

Brush the preheated grill rack with the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place the 6 prepared patties on the center of the grill. Place the grill-proof pan of vegetables on the top grill rack (or edge of grill if no top rack is available). Close grill cover and cook patties and vegetables for 6 minutes, stirring the vegetables two to three times. Add the peach preserves and BBQ sauce to the cooked vegetables, stir and continue to let the glaze cook down. Using 2 turners, carefully turn patties over and brush the cooked side of each patty with approximately 1 teaspoon of the glaze. Close cover and continue cooking patties for 3 minutes. Brush the patties again with the glaze and continue cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Toast the buttered buns, cut side down, on the top grilling rack (or edge of grill if no top rack is available). Turn the patties over again and brush each with a generous amount of glaze. Place 2 diagonal cheese slices on top of each patty covering complete patty. Allow the cheese to melt while the buns are toasting. When the buns are lightly toasted and burgers are cooked to desired wellness place each burger on a bottom bun. Brush remaining glaze on top cut side of each toasted bun, dividing evenly. Place top bun on each patty to make 6 Truck Garden Grill Burgers.

Comments 

Pair these American burgers with a glass of Sutter Home Merlot and imagine you and your family gathered around a picnic table at an old farmstead in the Midwest. Allow your imagination to capture the colorful sunset while hearing the rustling of the corn in the autumn breeze and enjoying a lazy-day conversation as the aroma of good food surrounds you.