I grew up just outside of Sacramento, California in (at the time) the rural suburb of Citrus Heights. Every fall we would make our way up towards Tahoe, to Pollock Pines, where fresh apples were abundant. This area was called…wait for it… Apple Hill.
Apple fritters, fresh apple cider, apple butter and warm apple pie are just a few of the items I must have when visiting there. Yup, I still go. It is a holiday tradition now. Apple Hill has been going strong for 50 years now. If you are ever in the area, check it out.
My absolute favorite is hot apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese over it. If you’ve never had it…it’s the bomb! So when Whole Foods asked me to do an apple recipe, this was my first thought. But I wanted to take it out of the dessert realm and apples and cheese are so pedestrian; I wanted something new! You are going to love this burger!
¼ pound Granny Smith apples, medium dice (2 apples) ½ cup red onions, chopped (1/4 pound) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced serrano peppers 1 cup cooked rice 3 tablespoons rolled oats, ground 4 ounces extra sharp Cheddar, medium dice 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 cup panko bread crumbs Olive oil
Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium fry pan and add in the 1/2 cup of red onion, cooking them until they are brown and slightly crispy, almost fried. Add more oil as needed.
Add the 2 cloves of garlic and the tablespoon of serrano and saute just until the garlic begins to sweat.
Puree the 1 cup of cooked rice along with the 3 tablespoons of ground rolled oats in a food processor until combined and paste like.
In a large mixing bowl combine the sauteed ingredients, tablespoon of thyme along with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, mixing well.
Add in the 4 ounces cheese and the rice mixture; combine. Then add in the apples. I cut them and add them towards the end to prevent browning.
Work in the 1 cup of bread crumbs. It is probably easiest to do this with your hands.
Using a biscuit cutter, make your veggie patties. You don't have to do this but I am a bit anal retentive.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet and warm it over a medium-high heat. Fry the burgers til browned on each side, adding more oil as needed.
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Jerry James Stone
Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say 'hella' too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.