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The Yo Burger with Fontina

Servings: 4


For Pickled Red Onions:
(Recipe from Michael Symon's Live to Cook, page 117)
2 pounds red onions, sliced
White wine vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
4 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves

For Spicy Ketchup:
(Recipe from Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, page 133)
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 Fresno chilies, seeded and minced
1 ancho chile, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 cups water

For Burgers:
Olive oil for filming skillet
8 slices Italian salami, such as Genoa
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, preferably equal parts brisket, short rib and sirloin
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
4 English muffins, split
4 slices Wisconsin fontina cheese
Spicy ketchup to taste
1/2 cup pickled red onion
1 green cucumber, thinly sliced

Cooking Directions:

For pickled red onions: Pack onion slices into two 1-quart jars. Cover slices with water to come within 1/2 inch of jar rims. Pour water out into measuring cup. Note measurement and pour out HALF the water. Add vinegar to replace discarded water to remaining half water. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of water-vinegar mixture; stir well. Pour vinegar mixture into nonreactive saucepan. Add mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic and bay leaves. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Pour hot liquid into jars to cover onions. Screw on lids. Can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

For spicy ketchup: "Sweat" onion and garlic with a 3-finger pinch of salt in olive oil over medium heat in nonreactive 2-quart saucepan until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add Fresno and ancho chilies and red pepper flakes. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add brown sugar, cumin, cinnamon stick, tomato paste and vinegar; simmer 10 minutes. Add 3 cups water; bring to gentle simmer and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Puree mixture in blender and strain through a sieve, pushing solids through. Cool, then cover and refrigerate up to 1 month.

For burgers: Prepare charcoal, gas or stove-top grill for cooking. Film large skillet with olive oil and heat on burner. Fry salami until crisp and set aside. Form ground beef into 4 6-ounce patties and season with salt and cracked black pepper. Place burgers over medium-high heat on grill. Cook to desired doneness, flipping burger after half the cooking time. Toward end of cooking time, place the English muffin halves on grill to toast. Top burger patties with fontina slices during last minute of cooking time. Layer bottom halves of muffins with spicy ketchup, pickled onions, cucumbers, salami and cheese-topped burgers. Top with muffin tops. Serve immediately.

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