My son, Mike, is a passionate sports fan. Ask him about any national team—football, basketball, baseball—and in seconds he can reel off their top players and the teams’ rankings. A talented cook, he is just as zealous about food and wine. Often he combines these two obsessions when he and his wife invite friends over for supper and a game. He keeps track of all the important match ups, and this week’s Ohio State –Oklahoma duel is his top priority! (Truth be told he’s a huge Buckeye fan!)
I mentioned to him the hamburgers with red pepper and shallot relish that I recently created as they are the type of dish he likes to serve for football Saturdays! The relish, prepared with sautéed red bell peppers and shallots, is scented with red pepper flakes and a hint of smoked paprika. A splash of red wine vinegar and a few spoonfuls of tomato paste round out the simple seasonings. No sugar is called for here, since he sautéed vegetables provide all the sweetness needed.
This relish is delicious used as a condiment for burgers topped with sharp white cheddar or other good melting cheese. It takes a good 30 minutes or more to prep and cook, but can be made two days ahead. Add a salad and corn on the cob, and you’ve got a winning game menu!
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Hamburgers with Red Pepper and Shallot Relish
Red Pepper and Shallot Relish (Recipe follows.)
Six 5- to 6-oz hamburger patties made with 85 percent lean ground beef (Grass fed
beef works particularly well.)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
6 oz sharp white cheddar cheese or other good melting cheese, thinly sliced or creamy goat cheese
6 good quality hamburger buns, warmed or lightly toasted
Boston lettuce leaves or other tender lettuce for garnish
1. Prepare the Red Pepper and Shallot Relish.
2. Combine salt with cayenne pepper in a small bowl and season the patties on both sides with this seasoning. (Burgers can be prepared 4 hours ahead; bring to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.)
3. Prepare grill for a hot fire (high temperature). Grill burgers 4 minutes and then turn. Top each burger with enough cheese slices to cover or if using goat cheese, spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons. Continue grilling until meat is pink inside about 2 minutes more. (Watch carefully as cooking time can vary depending on the intensity of the heat and the type of grill used.)
4. Place a lettuce leaf on bottom buns. Then top with cooked burgers. Spoon some Red Pepper and Shallot Relish over each. Cover with the remaining buns. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Red Pepper and Shallot Relish
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups finely diced red bell pepper with seeds and membranes removed (2 large peppers)
1 1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large shallots)
4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp to 5 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat . When hot add red peppers and shallots. Sauté vegetables, stirring often, until both are softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute more. Then add red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, smoked paprika, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more.
2. Add vinegar and cook until most of it has evaporated, only 30 seconds or more. Then stir in remaining olive oil and cook 1 minute more. Season the relish with salt and more red pepper flakes if desired. (Relish can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2016