Last summer, my friend Ivana and I entered the Sutter Home’s “Build a Better Burger” competition. Our arrangement was that we would each submit the same number of recipes, then if either of us got chosen as finalists, we would take the other along as our sous chef, and split whatever winnings we got. Unfortunately, Sutter Home wasn’t as impressed by our burgers as we were, and none of them were finalists. But Sutter Home was wrong, and our burgers were awesome. Since part of the contest rules were that none of the recipes had been published, I wasn’t able to post about them on my blog until now. But here is the first burger. It’s not incredibly original, but it was delicious, and had some interesting components that made it better than the average teriyaki burger… you know… because I made it. Contrary to my regular cooking style, every amount, instruction, and variable had to be accounted for and written down, so the ingredients list, and instructions are uncharacteristically detailed. Enjoy it now, because it’s not gonna become a regular thing! Photos are bad cell phone pics that are a year old. Oh well. These were delicious.
1/4 cup distilled white or rice wine vinegar
1 lg or 2 med. carrots, peeled (about 2 oz)
1/4 cup low or no sodium chicken stock
2 lg cloves garlic, grated (2 tsp)
1″ or 2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
1 tablespoon chicken stock
4oz (1/2 cup) Mayonnaise (Best Foods/Hellmans or Homemade)
2 tablespoons green wasabi powder
2 tablespoons kikkoman ponzu sauce
3lbs ground grass fed chuck, or 85/15 prepackaged grass fed ground beef
6 leaves boston/butterhead lettuce
5 slices of fresh pineapple, 1/4″ thick, cored
18 total Original Hawaiian 12-Pack dinner rolls
For Quick-Pickled Carrots:
*Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium fire. Remove from heat and set aside to cool while you prep your carrot(s).
*Peel carrot, then use vegetable peeler to create 4-6″ long ribbons. Place into medium heatproof bowl
*Pour warm vinegar mixture over carrots and let sit 10-15 minutes, until carrots begin to go limp.
*Pour off excess vinegar and pat carrots dry with paper towel.
For Teriyaki Glaze:
*Combine tamari, lime juice, sugar, and chicken stock in a small saucepan(you could reuse your carrot brine pan for this to save dishes).
*Using a microplane or rasp-style grater, grate your 2 large cloves garlic and 1″ peeled fresh ginger root, and add it to the tamari mixture.
*Combine cornstarch and cool water in a very small bowl, such as a ramekin
*Stir and cook tamari mixture over medium heat until simmering
*When tamari mixture has begun simmering, whisk in cornstarch mixture, and bring back to a simmer. When cornstarch mixture is added, the sauce will cloud up, when it comes back up to a simmer and thickens, the cloudiness should dissipate.
*Remove from heat and set aside
Heat up your grill:
*I use charcoal, so fill a standard Weber chimney with Kingsford Competition briquets, and using half of a paper grocery bag, start the chimney.
*When the edges of the briquets on top have begun ashing over, dump chimney into grill.
*Put 3/4 of the coals on one half of the grill(hot zone), and 1/4 of the coals on the other half (warm zone).
*With both vents open, place grate on grill and allow to preheat for at least 5 minutes.
*While grill is preheating, mix up your wasabi mayonnaise. In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons dry wasabi powder, and 2 tablespoons kikkoman ponzu sauce.
*While grill is preheating, divide your ground beef into 18 equal parts(each 2.6oz if using a scale)
*shape into rectangular patties about 3×2.5″, and poke a divot into the center of each with your finger
Slice your buns:
*Slice your rolls in half to make buns
Grill your burgers:
*When grill has preheated and has been cleaned, place a batch of burger patties on the hot side of the grill.
*Grill 1 minute, flip, and baste with glaze
*Grill 2 more minutes, flip to cool zone of grill, baste with glaze
*Grill additional 2 minutes on cool side, flip, baste with glaze, and remove to a plate or rimmed baking sheet
Cook remaining items:
*Add pineapple rings to hot size of grill, cook for 2 minutes.
*Flip to cool side of grill, and baste with glaze, cook 1 minute, turn 45 degrees, then cook additional minute.
*Flip, baste with glaze, and cook additional 2 minutes before removing to a plate.
*Place split buns on grill and remove when they begin to develop grill marks or deep browning, before they burn.
Prep and assemble burgers:
*Tear each piece of lettuce into 3 pieces, either long to be folded over, or burger shaped.
*Cut each slice of pineapple into 4 wedges
*Spread approx. 1 tsp of wasabi mayo on inside of each toasted bun half(total 2 tsp wasabi mayo per burger)
*Layer: Bottom bun, wasabi mayo, burger Patty, 1 section grilled pineapple, 2-3 strips of pickled carrot, lettuce, wasabi mayo, top bun.