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Smokey Blue Mountain Burger

Blue cheese and beef have always been a great combination, but when the local grocery store began carrying smoked blue cheese, I knew it would be fabulous on a grilled all-beef burger. This recipe takes a classic backyard favorite and elevates it to special occasion fare.


2 pounds ground chuck
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Sutter Home 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Smokey Blue Mayonnaise:
6 ounces smoked blue cheese, at room temperature"
1/2 cup grated Vidalia or Maui onion
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
vegetable oil for preparing grill rack
1 California avocado
6 sesame seed hamburger buns


Preheat gas grill on medium-high heat. Combine ground chuck, soy sauce, Sutter Home 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon and black pepper in a large bowl. Lightly mix with hands and set aside. In a small bowl, mash blue cheese with the back of a fork until creamy. Place grated onion in a piece of cheesecloth or papertowel and squeeze out excess water, discarding water. Place onion and mayonnaise in bowl with the cheese and blend well. Set aside. Brush grill rack with the vegetable oil. Mix ground chuck mixture again lightly with your hands and shape it into 6 patties. Place patties on the grill, close lid and cook for 6 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes. While patties are cooking, pit avocado and remove flesh from the peel. Cut flesh into thin slices and set aside. When patties are done, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside to rest. Lightly grill cut sides of hamburger buns off direct heat. To assemble burgers, divide avocado slices evenly among bun bottoms. Place patties on top of the avocado. Equally distribute the smokey blue mayonnaise on bun tops and place on top of patties. Enjoy! Makes 6 burgers.