Cooking with 'Friends': Rachael Ray's Burger Bash

It’s the 10th anniversary of Amstel Light’s Burger Bash at the SOBE Wine and Food Festival, hosted by Rachael Ray! Ahead of the event she shared some epic burger recipes with us.


2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 pts. cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper
1⁄4 c. tarragon, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 1⁄2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 bunch scallions (green onions), finely chopped
1 rounded tbsp. Dijon mustard
8 thin slices fresh mozzarella or mild provolone
4 soft sesame seed buns
Leaf lettuce

In a large skillet with a lid, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Add the tomatoes and garlic, then shake the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, shaking occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to burst, about 3 minutes.
Uncover and coarsely mash the tomatoes. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in the tarragon and vinegar; remove from the heat.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high.
In a medium bowl, combine the meat with the scallions, Dijon, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil; form into four patties (thinner in the centers for even cooking). Cook the patties, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes. During the last minute or so of cooking, top the patties with the cheese. Tent the skillet with foil to let the cheese melt.
Build the burgers with the bun bottoms, lettuce, patties, tomato-tarragon.

2 c. baby kale or baby spinach, packed
1 lb. 80% lean ground beef
3–4 tbsp. grated onion with juices
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 slices Cooper sharp white American cheese or Monterey jack
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
3⁄4 c. sour cream
2 tbsp. chives, chopped
2 tbsp. dill
2 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. green hot sauce (such as Tabasco Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce)
4 brioche rolls, split and toasted
Onion, thinly sliced

In a food processor, pulse the greens until very finely chopped.
In a mixing bowl, combine the greens and the meat. Add the onion and its juice and the Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties, thinner in the centers for even cooking.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the oil, one turn of the pan. Add the patties and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. During the last minute or so of cooking, top each patty with 1 slice of cheese; tent loosely with foil to melt the cheese.
Rinse out the processor bowl and return it to the base. In the processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, herbs, lemon juice, garlic and hot sauce. Season with salt and process into a smooth, thick dressing.
Serve the patties on the rolls with the lettuce, tomato, onion and lots of dressing.

For Queso Sauce:
2 poblano chiles
2 tbsp. butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1⁄4 c. whole milk
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into small pieces at room temperature
1 c. smoked cheddar or smoked Gouda, shredded
1 c. sharp yellow cheddar, shredded
1 rounded tbsp. yellow mustard, preferably French’s

For Burgers:
12 slices smoky bacon
1 1⁄2 lbs. ground sirloin
3 tbsp. grated onion
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. chili powder, preferably Gebhardt
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tbsp. canola oil
6 burger or kaiser rolls

For Toppings:
Romaine or iceberg lettuce, chopped
Seeded tomatoes, diced
White onion, chopped
Corn chips, preferably Fritos
Pickled jalapeño rings

Working over a gas burner or under the broiler, char the poblanos, turning often, until blackened all over. Transfer to a bowl. Cover; let cool 15¬ minutes. Peel, seed and chop the poblanos.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cornstarch. Add the milk and cook, stirring often, until it comes to a bubble.
Add the cream cheese; stir until it melts and the sauce thickens, about 1¬minute. Add the cheeses; stir until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard and poblanos; remove from the heat.
Just before serving, reheat the queso over medium, stirring occasionally, until melted. Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned and crispy, about 20 minutes, then chop.
In a medium bowl, combine the sirloin, onion, Worcestershire and chili powder; season with kosher salt and pepper. Form into 6 burger patties or 12 slider patties (thinner in the centers for even cooking). Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over medium-high. Add the canola oil, one turn of the pan. Add the patties and cook, turning occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes for burgers or 2 to 3 minutes for sliders.
Top the bun bottoms with lettuce, tomato and chopped onion. Add the patties, chips, queso sauce, bacon bits, jalapeño rings and bun tops.