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Zinfully Zesty Burger

The delicious taste of a great Red Zinfandel wine is honestly the inspiration for my burger creation. I love the taste of spicy food cooled just a bit with a hint of sweet. When talking about entering this contest with some friends and family, we were drinking Red Zin wine and the thought came to me to match the sweet and spice, the delicate and bold, flavors of this wine to ingredients in my burger. Then, I began with the wine itself as my first choice of creative ingredients and further used its balance for other inspiration.

Ingredients 

Purple Mayonnaise Dressing :
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh ground horseradish
1 Tablespoon Sutter Home Zinfandel
Carmalized Onion Topping:
2 Tablspoons butter
1 Tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1 medium red onion, peeled, cut in ½, and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Colavita’s Balsamic Vinegar
¼ cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
½ teaspon salt
Patties :
2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons freshly minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoon ground cayeene pepper
3 Tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel vegetable oil for brushing grill
6 slices sharp white cheddar cheese, cut to fit size of burger patties 6 bun-sized focaccia bread sections, sliced horizontally
½ cup melted butter for brushing buns
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes

Instructions 

Prepare gas grill by preheating at medium-high heat. To make mayonnaise dressing: Combine mayonnaise, horseradish, and Zinfandel in small bowl until all ingredients are blended, making a light purple colored spread. Cover and refridgerate until needed. To make carmelized onions : Using side grill burner,melt butter in a non-stick sauce pan able to withstand medium-high grill heat (if side grill burner is not available, place pan directly on grill). When butter is melted, stir in garlic and let cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly until garlic is soft. Add sliced red onion, balsamic vinegar, Zinfandel and salt. Cover and boil ingredients until almost all of the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 25-30 minutes. Stop cooking when the onions are caramelized (mixture will look syrupy). Take pan off of heat, keep covered, and set aside. To make patties: Combine ground chuck, basil, minced garlic, salt, brown sugar, cayeene, and Zinfandel. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the bun-sized bread. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place prepared patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, approximately 5 minutes on each side for medium to medium-rare (for optimal safety, use an instant-read meat thermometer into side of patty and cook meat until internal temperature reads 160 degrees). During the final minute of grilling, place one slice of sharp white cheddar cheese on each of the patties so cheese melts. When the patties are cooked, remove from the grill, and while meat rests, brush each cut side of focaccia bun-sized bread with melted butter. Rub ½ teaspoon of brown sugar and then ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes on each cut side of the buttered buns. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the mayonnaise dressing over the cut sides of each of the bun-sized bread slices. On each bread bottom, place a cabbage leaf, a prepared patty, and an equal portion of the caramelized onions. Add the bread tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

Stop. Smell. Savor the moment. Pour a glass of Zinfandel. Take a bite of this zinfully zesty delicious burger. Enjoy!