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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onion Jam

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onion Jam | The Sweets Life
Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onion Jam
On Brecken's two month birthday, I talked a little bit about how I felt our "success" as parents thus far (though I'm definitely not claiming to be a perfect parent!) can largely be attributed to the way Ryan and I tackle life as a team. This sentiment remains true, and those that know us well would vouch for it. I've most recently noticed it in our attempts to get out the door each Monday through Friday. We still carpool to work together, but now instead of getting just ourselves out the door, we're also trying to make sure Brecken is up, fed, and ready to go.
Pin ItBlue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onion Jam | The Sweets Life
The only way this happens--and all before the seven o'clock hour--is via teamwork. Our mornings are carefully orchestrated. My alarm goes off and I'm up working out. Ryan's goes off and he starts getting ready. A flurry of showers and primping take place before we wake up Brecken and indulge ourselves with a few minutes of giant smiles and playtime, always the best part of our morning. While I feed B, Ryan brings me a smoothie that I slurp down as breakfast #1, and then cleans the blender, makes us coffees to go, and puts away any clean dishes drying on the rack or left in the dishwasher. 
Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onion Jam | The Sweets Life
Yes, mornings are hectic, but we've found a way to make it work without leaving for the day in a panic and it's all because of teamwork. We bring that same teamwork to the kitchen, as is the case with these burgers. The concept itself was the result of us brainstorming together. Ryan mentioned a craving for blue cheese stuffed burgers, topped with something fancy...I suggested caramelized onion jam, and the rest is history! He stuffed the patties with cheese while I cooked onions low and slow on the stovetop. Together we liberally salted and peppered the burgers and Ryan worked his magic on the grill.

Magic really is the best way to describe these. With bacon mixed in with the ground beef, they're juicy and the stinky blue cheese melts into the patty. The jam topping is the icing on the cake! We've already made them twice (the second time with turkey, which also works well!), and I know we'll fire up the grill to make them again many more times this summer. Find yourself a teammate, and give these a try!

One Year Ago: Carrot Walnut Breakfast Cookies and Kale, Mushroom, and Tomato Saute with Polenta
Two Years Ago: Creamy Mushroom Fettucine Florentine
Three Years Ago: Bourbon Peach Chutney and Brie Crostini and Asian Broccoli Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing
Four Years Ago: Coconut Lime Snowballs and Summery Salad with Chicken, Avocado, and Corn

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Caramelized Onion Jam
jam adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
*makes 9 burgers

for the burgers-
-3 lbs ground beef
-6 oz blue cheese
-salt and pepper
-1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon

for the jam-
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-3 large sweet onions, diced
-2 bay leaves
-3 rosemary sprigs
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

for the burger toppings-
-9 hamburger buns (we recommend pretzel buns!)
-spinach or arugula

1. To make the jam, heat the olive oil in a large pan until shimmering. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 15 minutes).
2. Tie the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs together with kitchen twine. Add the herbs to the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Top the onions with the sugar and cook, without stirring, until the sugar melts (5 minutes).
3. Increase the heat to high and cook, still without stirring, until an amber-brown caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the jam has thickened (15-20 minutes). Discard the herb bundle, season the jam with salt, and allow to cool to warm.
*if makes ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Reheat or bring to room temperature before serving
4. To make the burgers, mix the bacon with the ground beef. Form the beef into 9 equal pieces. Separate each piece into two equal sized pieces, which are slightly flattened into a patty shape. Create an indenture in one of the pieces and fill with a tablespoon or two of blue cheese. Top with other piece and press edges together to seal. Season the outside of each patty liberally with salt and pepper.
5. Grill burgers over high heat until desired doneness. Serve on buns topped with caramelized onion jam and arugula or spinach.