Wild Mushroom-Cheddar Burger

During my travels for the old Food Network show Food Nation, I had the opportunity to go foraging for mushrooms with an expert while in[ Washington State. I can't think of mushrooms without remembering that trip. Now I do NOT recommend hunting for your own mushrooms -- let's leave that to the experts -- but I do recommend using a variety of what your supermarket has to offer. They may not be technically "wild," but a blend from your market will still be delicious and, more important, not deadly! I think that any cheddar would pair well with the mushrooms, but if you can find a sharp Tillamook cheddar from Oregon, it would be all the better.]

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, lobster, chanterelles, and stemmed shiitakes), chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean) or ground turkey (90 percent lean)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired (see below)
  • Chipotle Ketchup (optional, recipe follows)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons pureed canned chipotle in adobo (depending on how spicy you prefer it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and parsley and transfer to a bowl.

Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.

Cook the burgers, using the canola oil and topping each one with a slice of cheese and a basting cover during the last minute of cooking. (See Bobby's cheese melting tip)

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and top each burger with chipotle ketchup, if using, and a large spoonful of the mushrooms. Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately.

Chipotle Ketchup

I love ketchup as much as the next American does, but when I was designing the menu for Bobby's Burger Palace, I knew that I wanted to have a little something extra to offer in the squeeze bottles. The simple addition of pureed chipotle in adobo gives prepared ketchup an exciting smoky edge, while still keeping its sweet yet tangy identity intact.

Whisk together the ketchup, chipotle, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce will keep for 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 cup

Toasted Burger Buns

I think the taste and the texture of buns are best when lightly toasted. To toast a bun on a grill, grill pan, or griddle, split the bun open, place it cut side down on the grill, and grill until light golden brown, about 10 seconds. Alternatively, you can place the split bun halves cut side up on a baking sheet and cook them under a preheated broiler until light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Keep a close eye on them and don't let them get too brown or else that texture will take on a life of its own and defeat the purpose of starting with a soft bun.


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