Summer is a great time of year to incorporate fresh fruits into your grilling menu. As such, I recently developed a burger recipe for Kingsford.com that strikes the perfect balance of sweet and savory through the addition of a fresh smoked cherry salsa!
SMOKED CHERRY SALSA BURGER
1.5 lbs. ground beef, preferably an 80/20 meat-to-fat ratio
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups halved and pitted cherries
1 tsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
Juice of one small lime
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 brioche hamburger buns, lightly toasted
1 vegetable grilling basket
Prepare grill for 2-zone cooking, placing preheated Kingsford charcoal briquets on one side of the grill's charcoal grate to create a hot and cool zone. Add 1-2 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal and place the main cooking grate on the grill. Once the wood starts to smoke, place the cherries in a vegetable grilling basket and set the basket on the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and allow the cherries to smoke for approximately 20 minutes until they have taken on a light smoky flavor. Remove the cherries from the grill and allow them to cool before roughly chopping and blending with the cilantro, red onion, jalapeno and lime juice in a small bowl.
Form ground beef into 4 patties. Season liberally on both sides with Kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place patties on the hot side of the grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees for medium, adding a slice of cheese to each during the last minute of cooking. Remove the burger patties from the grill. Assemble burgers by spreading butter on the bottom buns then topping with a burger patty. Top the patties with an even portion of cherry salsa and the top bun. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Clint Cantwell, Courtesy of Kingsford.com