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Popeye's Really Gouda Bell Pepper Burgers

This recipe is inspired by a beef rub that I came up with after deciding that I should be able to make something at least as good as Steak Seasoning, but with less salt. After concocting the Rub recipe, my wife showed me the "Build a Better Burger" ad in Southern Living Magazine and I decided to take up the challenge. I've been cooking since I was 10 years old, professionally for several years in my 20s. Now in my 40s, I find cooking very therapeutic. Wish me luck and enjoy the flavors! Pour yourself a glass of 2004 Sutter Home Merlot with this Burger, they're very complementary.


Patty Rub:
2 Tablespoons Season Salt
1 Tablespoon Hickory Smoked
Salt 2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano Leaf
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme Leaf
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Grilled Bell Pepper Topping:
3 Large Fresh Sweet Red Bell Peppers
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Pounds Fresh Ground Beef Chuck
6 Slices of Smoked Gouda Cheese
6 Everything Bagels
1/4 Pound Softened Unsalted Butter
Spinach Topping:
6 Ounces of Rinsed Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
Mustard Condiment:
1 10 Ounce Bottle of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard


1) To make the patty rub, combine season salt, hickory smoked salt, garlic, black pepper, oregano, thyme and cumin. Mix thoroughly and place in a spice jar with perforated lid. 2)To prepare bell peppers; stem, quarter, de-seed, and rinse peppers. In a one gallon size zip closure plastic bag combine balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Close bag and mix thoroughly. Add peppers to bag, close bag tightly and manipulate peppers to coat them thoroughly with the marinade, set aside. 3)To make patties, separate 3 pounds of fresh gound beef chuck evenly into 8 ounce portions. Gently form meat into patties approximately 5 inches in diameter by 5/8 inch thick, handling sparingly. 4)Shake rub mixture liberally onto both sides of beef patties, coating them thoroughly (the heavier, the better), set aside. 5)Thinly slice gouda cheese, using a wheeled wire cheese slicer, set aside. 6) Preheat gas grill to medium-high. 7) Slice bagels, spread cut sides evenly with softened butter, set aside. 8)On medium-high grill, cook bell pepper quarters, starting with skin side down. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes per side or until skin side has large browned bubbles and peppers are tender throughout. Simultaneously, wilt spinach in 2 stainless steel bowl clam-shelled on grill rack. Remove peppers and spinach from grill, drain spinach, set aside. 9) Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on grill rack and cook covered, turning once, until done to preference, 5 -7 minutes per side for medium. Top patties with cheese. Place bagel halves cut side down on grill rack, cover grill and allow cheese to melt while bagels grill slightly. 10) To assemble burgers, place bottoms of bagels, cut side up on a platter. Top bagel bottoms with a beef patty, cheese side up. On top of each patty, layer grilled bell pepper then wilted spinach. Spread cut sides of bagel tops with mustard and cap burgers. Serves 6.


Serve these burgers with 2004 Sutter Home Merlot.