Monday, July 12, 2010

Cheddar Burgers with Balsamic Onions and Chipotle Ketchup

Honestly, there's nothing like a good burger! I'm a HUGE In & Out fan and can easily put away one of those burgers (and still be hungry for another)! A good burger has got to have all of the right components...a good bun, juicy meat and some killer cheese. I'm not a huge onion fan and usually scrape them off if they are raw, but I'll take grilled onions any day!
I found this recipe a while back from Epicurious (my favorite iphone app). Gave it a try one evening, made some sweet potato fries to go alongside, and this easily became a favorite burger!

INGREDIENTS: (Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2008)
Makes 6 Burgers

1 lb. red onions, cut crosswise into 1/3 to 1/2 inch-thick rounds
Olive Oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Chipotle Ketchup:
1 Cup Ketchup
1 1/2 Tsp. Chipotle Salsa (I found it at Trader Joes)
2 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

2 1/4 lbs. ground beef (15% fat)
Kosher salt
6 thick slices sharp cheddar cheese
6 large hamburger buns, cut sides grilled
6 tomato slices
2 cups fresh spinach leaves

Chipotle Ketchup Ingredients
For onions: Prepare barbecue (med-high heat). Arrange onion rounds on baking sheet. Brush with oil; sprinkle with 3/4 tsp. coarse salt and pepper. Transfer onion rounds to grill rack, keeping them intact; close cover. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat or move onions to cooler part of grill. Close cover and cook until onions are tender, about 10 min. Transfer to bowl and toss with vinegar. **These can be made 3 days ahead. Cover & chill.
For Chipotle Ketchup: Mix ketchup, chile salsa and 2 tsp. vinegar in small bowl. season with salt and more vinegar if it's too thick. **This can also be made ahead, covered & chilled.
For Burgers: Shape beef into six patties. Sprinkle on both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Turn grill to medium-high heat. Place burgers on grill. Close cover and cook burgers about 3 minutes. Turn and cook to how you like (3 minutes longer for medium-rare). Top with onions and cheese. Close cover to melt the cheese. Grill buns, place on plates, spread with ketchup and top burgers with tomatoes and spinach.

For Sweet Potato Fries: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut up 2-3 sweet potatoes into long strips 1/2 inch thick. Place in a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Quickly strain and soak in ice-cold water. Remove from water then dry on paper towels. Toss together in a large bowl, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and sweet potatoes, just to coat. Arrange on a large baking sheet so fries don't touch. Bake for 10 minutes, flip fries, then bake for another 10 minutes. Season with more salt if desired and serve with the extra chipotle ketchup. These are best if eaten fresh out of the oven!!

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