Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cranberry Bacon Blue Burgers

After spending a beautiful afternoon at Capital Brewery for REAP's Burgers and Brew, I thought it was the perfect time to share the recipe for my newest burger creation, which I made as part of marathon of grilling Memorial Day weekend. Burgers are my new favorite palate for culinary creativity, which combines perfectly with recent obsession with grilling (and makes for a happy husband). I actually made the Cranberry Chutney specifically to make this burger, though it's found a place in a number of other meals since then. I love this burger because it hits so many different tastes-sweet, sour, and acidic cranberry chutney, salty and pungent blue cheese, and savory bacon all blend together with sweet, soft caramelized onions for an extremely flavorful burger, harmonizing perfectly with the flavorful of grass-fed ground beef, but not overwhelming it. I love the pungent flavor of blue cheese, but if you're not a fan (as I realize many aren't), cheddar or Swiss cheese would also be quite delicious on this burger. If you're looking to mix up your grilling repertoire this summer, give this recipe a try!

Cranberry Bacon Blue Burgers
serves 2

2-4 slices bacon (depending on size)
1/2 large or 1 small onion, sliced
2 whole grain hamburger buns
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (I love Hook's)
1/4 cup Cranberry Chutney
8 oz. ground beef (local, organic, grass-fed is the best if you can find/afford it)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat a pan over medium heat. Cook bacon to desired level of crispness, remove from pan, drain, and break each slice into two pieces, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the pan. Add sliced onions and cook over low to medium-low heat until caramelized, about 30 minutes.

2. While the onions are cooking, preheat a grill pan or gas grill over medium to medium-high heat or prepare a charcoal grill (my personal preference). Cook burgers to desired level of doneness (about 130 degrees F for medium-rare, my personal preference).

3. Meanwhile, spread 2 tablespoons cranberry chutney on the top half of each hamburger bun. Top with crumbled blue cheese, caramelized onions, and bacon. Add cooked burger to bottom half of bun, top with upper half, and serve warm.

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