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Toasted Walnut Burgers with Chanterelles and Fontina Cheese

The nutty flavors of the walnuts and the Chanterelles pair nicely with the ground beef to make these elegant, but simple burgers.


1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 pound ground sirloin
1 1/4 pound ground beef chuck
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 slices apple wood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
1/4 cup beef consommé
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary
Oil to brush the grill rack
8 ounces Fontina Cheese, thinly sliced
6 sourdough hamburger buns, split
1 cup watercress
1 ripe heirloom tomato, thinly sliced


Preheat a gas grill to medium high heat. Place walnuts in a skillet over the hot grill to lightly toast. Place the nuts in a large bowl. Break apart the ground sirloin and ground chuck into the bowl with the nuts. Add the 2 teaspoons of salt the 1 /4 teaspoon of black pepper. Gently combine the ingredients and form into 1” thick patties; cover and set aside until ready to grill. Cook the bacon in a large skillet on the grill until crispy. Stir in the shallot and the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the Zinfandel, consommé, black pepper and rosemary. Cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed; cover loosely with foil to keep warm and set aside. Lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the hot grill rack, close cover and grill for 4 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the patties. Top each patty with several slices of the Fontina cheese, close the grill and cook an additional 4-5 minutes for medium doneness. During the last 2 minutes of grilling place the buns, split side down on the grill to lightly toast. To assemble the burgers, place several leaves of watercress and a tomato slice on the bottom half of each roll. Top with a cooked patty, cheese side up. Evenly divide the mushrooms between each, spooning on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining bun halves and serve.