Cedars Cafe Blended Burger

IngredientsBeef, Mushrooms
Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Toni Elkhouri
Cedars Cafe
Melbourne, Fla.

Chef Elkhouri of Cedars Cafe reimagined a classic burger to give it a Middle Eastern twist. To give standard tomato ketchup a global accent, she created a housemade spiced pomegranate ketchup; a tahini remoulade and banana pepper curried mustard reinforce the ethnic theme. The patty itself is a blend of mushrooms and beef, intensifying umami and adding moisture.


Pomegranate Ketchup
14 oz. canned whole tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. pomegranate molasses

Banana Pepper Curried Mustard
6 oz. jarred yellow banana peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. grated ginger
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. curry powder
Salt, to taste

Tahini Remoulade
1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup tahini paste
1/2 cup grated cucumber
1/4 cup chopped capers
4 to 5 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup diced pepperoncini
1/2 cup minced pickles
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 bunch chopped dill

Burger Patties
2 to 3 tbsp. butter
3 lb. mixed portabella, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1/4 cup red wine
1 lb. ground beef chuck
1 lb. ground beef short rib
1/4 lb. ground lamb fat
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. granulated onion
2 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. salt
8 oz. red wine

8 slices pepper bacon
8 oz. spinach
8 oz. goat cheese
1 sliced avocado
4 ciabatta buns
2 tbsp. fig jam


1. For pomegranate ketchup: In a blender, puree whole tomatoes. In medium saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Saute onion and garlic until golden, about 25 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, paprika, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer; stir in vinegar and sugar. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until sauce thickens. Cool, season with salt and pepper and add pomegranate molasses. Set aside.
2. For banana pepper curried mustard: In food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if sauce is too thick. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
3. For tahini remoulade: In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Adjust seasonings to taste and let chill for 12 hours.
4. For burger patties: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add chopped mushrooms, a little bit at a time, to avoid crowding pan. Saute about 15 minutes; add 1/4 cup red wine and deglaze. Cook until wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
5. In food processor, puree cooled mushrooms until smooth. In large bowl, mix ground chuck, ground short rib and lamb fat until well blended. Add spices and cooled mushroom mixture. Form into four 8-ounce patties.
6. In a large, lightly greased cast-iron skillet over high heat, cook patties on one side, about 4 minutes or until well seared. Reduce heat to medium, flip and continue to cook for 4 minutes, or until thermometer reads 155 F. Add wine and reduce until all burgers have absorbed liquid.
7. To serve, toast ciabatta buns and lightly glaze the bottom of each bun with 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Top with Pomegranate Ketchup, Banana Pepper Curried Mustard, bacon and spinach. Place cooked patty on top and add Tahini Remoulade, goat cheese and avocado. Close with top bun.

Photo courtesy of The Mushroom Council

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