Even if you can’t make it to the beach, this burger will help you feel like you’re on vacation. The combination of a blackened burger with kumquat chutney and preserved lemon aioli is unforgettable. Since some of the ingredients are a little unique, I’ve offered substitutes that also make a great-tasting burger.
1Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack in the pan and arrange bacon slices on it. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven and flip the slices. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until bacon is thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels and cut each piece in half.
2Heat vegetable oil in in medium skillet; add shallots and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in vinegar, honey, 3 teaspoons lemon juice, dried kumquats, fresh kumquats and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Chill for 30 minutes; stir in mint.
3In small food processor, place mayonnaise, garlic, preserved lemon, mustard, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and lemon zest. Pulse until well blended. Remove to a small bowl and stir in capers. Taste and season with salt as needed. Mash blue cheese and Monterey jack cheese together; set aside.
4Heat grill to medium-high heat. Weigh and shape beef into approximately 6-ounce patties; sprinkle with Cajun seasoning and salt on both sides. Cook burgers for 3-4 minutes per side. Spread cheese mixture on each patty. Spread buns with butter; toast them on edges of grill for about 1 minute.
5To assemble, spread each bottom bun with preserved lemon aioli. Add lettuce, a cheeseburger, 1 1/2 slices of bacon, a scoop of kumquat chutney, a dollop of aioli and the top bun. Secure with large toothpick.
*NOTE - Dried kumquats can be found online and in Asian supermarkets.