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Introducing Chicken And Mushroom Burgers With Strawberry “Ketchup”

Image by Courtesy of James Briscione

This flavor matrix, created by James Briscione and Watson, an IBM supercomputer, shows which unlikely flavor pairings are most likely to go with berries. Using that, the recipe below, which has traveled the world and was the subject of a TED talk, was created:

Chicken and Mushroom Burgers with Strawberry “Ketchup”

Makes 5 burgers

This pairing has traveled around the world. Combining chicken, mushrooms, and strawberries was first conceived by Michael Laiskonis and Florian Pinel with IBM’s Chef Watson in New York City. Michael brought his take on the pairing to SXSW in Austin, Texas. Later, my take (the below recipe) became the subject of a talk I gave at TEDxWarsaw. Now it lands in your kitchen.

Image by Andrew Purcell

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking the burgers

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped

1 pound ground chicken

6 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 slices mild white cheese (Brie, provolone, or Muenster)

5 burger rolls, split

Softened butter, for the rolls

Strawberry “Ketchup” (recipe follows), for serving

  1. Sauté the garlic and shallots in the olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Set aside on a plate to cool.

  2. Combine the cooled mushroom mixture, chicken, breadcrumbs, eggs, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Blend well and form into 5 burgers.

  3. Place a sauté pan with a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat. When hot, pan-fry the burgers for about 6 minutes per side, flipping once, until well browned and cooked through (the internal temperature 165°F). Immediately top each hot burger with a cheese slice. If necessary, transfer to a 425°F oven to finish cooking. Set aside to rest while you prepare the rolls.

  4. Heat the broiler. Spread the cut sides of the rolls with butter and broil until they are toasted. Place the burgers on the bottoms of the rolls, top with strawberry ketchup, and serve.

Strawberry “Ketchup”

Makes 3 cups

2 tablespoons minced shallots

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cups chopped mushrooms (about 5 ounces)

Kosher salt

4 cups chopped fresh strawberries (about 1 pound)

1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

Freshly ground black pepper

Sugar (optional)

  1. Sauté the shallots, ginger, and garlic in the butter until tender and fragrant. Add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt, and cook until completely dry, about 6 minutes.

  2. Stir in the strawberries, coriander, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries become very soft, about 10 minutes. Blend in the pot with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender and process until smooth, then return to the pot. Simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally to prevent the ketchup from burning on the bottom.

  3. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar (if necessary). Transfer to a glass jar or plastic container and let cool to room temperature. Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM BURGERS WITH STRAWBERRY “KETCHUP” is excerpted from THE FLAVOR MATRIX © 2018 by James Briscione with Brooke Parkhurst. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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