Earthy Delights Recipe

Morel-Stuffed Burgers on Grilled Garlic Toast with Chipotle-Lime Mayonnaise

Morel-Stuffed Burgers on Grilled Garlic Toast with Chipotle-Lime Mayonnaise
Leaner grass-fed beef and bison naturally contain less fat than regular ground beef. Less fat is better for you, but it can lead to a drier, less flavorful burger. Our solution? Stuff those burgers with a layer of moist, buttery morel mushrooms! Nothing beats fresh morels, of course, but dried will do in a pinch, as will other mushrooms, either wild or cultivated. Lay on more flavor by spreading on the chipotle-lime mayonnaise. The smokey richness and heat of chipotle chiles is tempered by the cool lime and creamy mayonnaise. Make plenty; this zesty mayonnaise is amazing on sandwiches, and also makes a fantastic dip for veggies (we especially like it with steamed artichokes).

1 pound ground grass-fed beef or bison
4 thick slices of fresh French or Italian bread, cut on an angle
olive oil for brushing the toasts
1 garlic clove, halved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 – 3 ounces fresh morels (substitute 1 oz reconstituted dried morels for fresh morels)
Chipotle-Lime Mayonnaise (see recipe below)

sliced red onion
sliced tomato
fresh arugula



Clean the morels as needed. Melt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the morels and cook for 5 minutes, or until any released liquid has evaporated. Allow the morels to cool and chop coarsely. Divide the ground beef into four equal portions and form into oval-shaped patties about 1/2 inch or less thick. Spread half of the the morels on two of the patties. Place one plain patty on a mushroom-covered patty and gently press the halves together to form a single patty about 1 inch thick. Pinch the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining patties. Season with salt and pepper.


Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. When the coals are ready or the gas grill is preheated, grill the burgers on an oiled rack about 5 – 6 inches above the flame. Cook for about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare meat.


Make the toasts while the burgers are grilling. Brush the sliced bread lightly with the olive oil and arrange on the grill around the burgers. Grill for 1 -2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer the toasted bread to a plate and rub with the cut side of the garlic. Spread one side of each toast generously with the chipotle mayonnaise. Put a generous amount of arugula on the bottom toasts, then transfer the burgers from the grill. Add tomato and onion to taste, and top with the remaining toasts.

Chipotle-Lime Mayonnaise



1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chipotle chile sauce (see recipe below or substitute seeded, puréed canned chipotles in adobo sauce)

2 tablespoons lime juice

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)




Mix all ingredients well. Place into a container, cover tightly and refrigerate. Allow to stand at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.


Chipotle Chile Paste




6 dried chipotle peppers

4 dried ancho chiles

4 dried guajillo chiles

2 tablespoons diced onion

6 cloves of garlic, peeled & coarsely chopped




Remove the stems and and as many of the seeds as possible from the chiles. Don’t worry too much about getting every last seed out – we’ll take care of that later.


Note: Using a pair of kitchen scissors can make this job easier. It’s also a good idea to wear plastic or latex gloves if you’re sensitive to chile peppers. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t touch your eyes, nose or any other sensitive areas until after thoroughly washing your hands with plenty of soap and water. Even then, traces of capsacin, the heat-producing substance found in chile peppers, can remain on your hands for hours.


Heat a large, flat-bottomed pan with a tightly fitting lid over medium-high heat. Place the cleaned chiles into the pan and press them flat with a heatproof spatula. Turn them to toast on all sides, pressing down firmly with the spatula. Take special care not to burn or scorch the chiles, which can make them bitter. When the chiles become fragrant and are lightly toasted, add three cups of water (watch out for the steam!), reduce the heat to low and cover tightly. Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the onions and garlic, stir to mix and cover again. Let the pan rest, covered, for at least 10 minutes or until slightly cooled.


Strain the pepper mixture, reserving cooking liquid, and put the chiles, onion and garlic into a blender. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid and blend on low, adding more liquid little by little until the mixtures spins freely. Increase the speed to high and puree until smooth.


Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing down with the back of a heavy spoon or ladle to extract as much of the mixture as possible. Discard the remaining skins and seeds.


Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a month.


Makes about 2 cups