Build a Better Burger and win $50,000 plus last year’s winning burger recipe

Jul 7, 2008 at 4:04 p.m. ET

Have you been dreaming of entering a recipe contest and winning big bucks? Do you make a top-notch burger that is a hands-down winner at every cookout? If so, Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger Contest could be your lucky ticket. Here are details on this year's contest, which is open for entries through August 18, 2008, as well as last year's winning Sweet-Hot Thai Burger recipe.

A Variety of Mini-Burgers

Your burger could win $50,000

Taking a culinary risk and sharing your prized burger recipe could earn you $50,000. Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger Contest is calling all burger chefs to send in their best burger recipes.

Karen Bernards

10 finalists will compete in a burger cook-off in Napa Valley

Sutter Home will be taking entries for the 2008 Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest and Cook-Off through August 18, 2008.

For entry rules, visit or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Build a Better Burger
Sutter Home Winery
PO Box 248
St. Helena, California 94574-0248

Ten finalists will be flown to the Napa Valley to compete in a burger grilling cook-off on September 27, 2008, which will be judged by a renowned panel of chefs and food industry experts.

2007 Build a Better Burger Winning Recipe

Most people eat their chips as a side to their burgers, but Karen Bernards, of McMinnville, Oregon, decided to crush spicy Thai chips and some other unusual ingredients into her ground beef and win over the 2007 Build a Better Burger panel of judges.

Bernards' Sweet-Hot Thai Burgers scored high marks and left the judges with an unforgettable tantalizing taste. According to head judge James McNair, "Karen's burger had a great blend of flavors. I loved the 'oniony' taste she was able create by adding the chips."

Bernards tested her recipe on friends and family before submitting it to the contest.

"I was inspired by my love of Thai food and tried to capture those distinct flavors in my burger by using lime, ginger, sweet chili sauce, cilantro and basil," Bernards explains. "When the light bulb went off to mix spicy chips into the patties, I knew I was onto something special."

Sweet-Hot Thai Burgers

Makes 6 burgers

Cilantro mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Thai salad:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons bottled Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts

2 pounds freshly ground chuck beef
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup bottled Thai sweet chili sauce
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup Spicy Thai Kettle Chips, placed in a bag and smashed
Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 good-quality potato hamburger buns, split

Preparing BurgerDirections:
1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

2. To make the mayonnaise, whisk the mayonnaise, lime juice, and cilantro in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

3. To make the Thai salad, whisk the lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, sweet chili sauce, ginger, cilantro, and basil in a small bowl. Combine the cucumber, red pepper, and bean sprouts in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

4. To make the patties, combine the ground beef, salt, sweet chili sauce, green onions, and chip pieces in a large bowl, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit the buns. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

5. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

6. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the cilantro mayonnaise over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place a grilled patty, followed by equal portions of the Thai salad. Add the top bun and serve.

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