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Wine and Butter Basted Cheese Burgers with Herb's de Provence

American born of European parents, I have always enjoyed a wide variety of food and cooking from both continents, which inspired my recipe that combines the best of both worlds – a classic American burger with a European flair. American beef, tomatoes and wine, French seasonings and vinaigrette, English cheese, cucumbers and horseradish, and Italian prosciutto.

Ingredients 

Wine and Butter Baste

1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon

1/2 cup Colavita aged balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup minced shallots

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

Tomato and Cucumber Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Colavita Cabernet vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Herb's de Provence

6 beefsteak tomato slices, about 1/4 inch thick and 3 inches diameter

24 seedless cucumber slices, about 1/8 inch thick

Horseradish Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh ground, coarse cut, prepared horseradish

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Patties

2 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck (20-25 percent fat)

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Herb's de Provence

2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil

Sautéed Prosciutto

1 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil

6 thin slices of prosciutto

1/4 cup Colavita Canola oil for brushing on the grill rack

1/2 pound grated Cotswold cheese flavored with onion and chives

6 Kaiser rolls (without seeds) split

Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup

Immersion blender, like the Kitchen-aid model KHB300

Reynolds Wrap non-stick foil

Instant-read thermometer

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To prepare the wine and butter baste, combine the Cabernet Sauvignon, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and shallots in a fireproof 1-quart saucepan. Cook on the grill, bring to a boil and stir occasionally until reduced to a volume of 1/2 cup, about 15-20 minutes. (NOTE: When the basting liquid is cooking and later cooling, proceed with the other preparation steps below.) Remove from the grill, pour the liquid into the Pyrex cup and blend with an immersion blender on medium speed for about 10 seconds until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, about 50-60 minutes. After the basting liquid has cooled, add the Dijon mustard, tomato paste and butter, and blend until smooth. The baste should be the consistency of soft butter.

To prepare the tomato and cucumber vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and Herb's de Provence in a blending beaker or deep narrow bowl, and blend with the immersion blender for about 10 seconds to form a vinaigrette emulsion. Spread the tomato and cucumber slices on a large plate, spoon the vinaigrette over the slices until all are marinated.

To prepare the horseradish mayonnaise, place the horseradish in a fine sieve and press with the bowl of a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible, discard the liquid. Combine the horseradish, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until well blended.

To prepare the patties, place the ground beef in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and Herb's de Provence. Mix gently with a large fork until the seasoning is evenly distributed. Handling the meat as little as possible, divide into six equal portions and gently form into patties, about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Brush both sides of the patties with olive oil.

To prepare the prosciutto, evenly coat the bottom of a 12-inch fireproof skillet with the olive oil, place on the grill and when the oil is hot, lay three of the prosciutto slices flat in the skillet. Saute the prosciutto until crisp and golden on both sides. Remove from the skillet, cover loosely with non-stick foil and keep warm. Repeat with the three remaining prosciutto slices.

Before cooking the patties, make sure you have completed preparing the wine and butter baste (directions above).

Brush the grill rack with Canola oil. Place the patties on the rack and grill for 3 minutes. Flip the patties, grill for another 3 minutes and while grilling, spread about 1/2 tablespoon of wine and butter baste on the cooked side of each patty. Apply the baste carefully to avoid flare-ups. Flip the patties and grill for another minute while basting the just cooked side with about 1/2 tablespoon of baste for each patty. Flip the patties, top with equal portions of the grated cheese and cook for 1 minute with the grill cover closed to melt the cheese.

Insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of a patty to determine if the beef has reached your desired level of doneness as follows:

Rare: Cool and red center, 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Medium-rare: Warm and red center, 130-135 degrees.

Medium: Warm and pink center, 140-145 degrees.

Medium-well: Warm with little to no pink, 150-155 degrees.

Well-done: Uniformly grey-brown, 160-165 degrees.

When cooked to the desired temperature, remove patties from the grill.

Toast the Kaiser rolls on the grill, frequently turning until both sides are a light golden brown, about 1-2 minutes, remove from the grill.

To assemble the burgers, spread the toasted side of each roll bottom with about 1/2 tablespoon of wine and butter baste. Add a slice of sauteed prosciutto, then a patty with the cheese side up, and top each patty with 4 cucumber slices. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of horseradish mayonnaise on the toasted side of each roll top, and add a tomato slice to each. Serve open faced to display the colorful, mouth-watering ingredients.

Comments 

The Cotswold cheese can be found at Publix, Whole Foods and Fresh Market food stores, as can all of the other ingredients. The wine and butter baste may be prepared in advance and refrigerated for up to a week.