Although it’s slightly fattier than other white-fleshed fish, whitefish still needs some additional fat to help keep it juicy, especially when grilling. Cue that delicious and ever-versatile ingredient, bacon. Along with fat, bacon also adds salt and a touch of smoke—perfect accompaniments for whitefish. For the tastiest results, barbecue these burgers over charcoal rather than propane. Serves 6.
12 slices bacon
3 cups filleted whitefish chunks (one-inch)
4 slices bacon, chopped
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup ketchup
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 whole egg yolk
1 cup breadcrumbs
Pinch kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp chipotle powder
2 tbsp chopped parsley
½ cup barbecue sauce
1 tsp Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
Place all burger ingredients except bacon in a food processor and blend using short pulses. Do not over-blend—small chunks of fish and bacon are best. Form resulting mixture into six equal balls and press into one-inch-thick patties.
Form six X-shapes with the bacon slices, then lay a patty on top of each one. Fold over the ends of the bacon, then flip each burger so the X-shape is on top. Chill for at least one hour.
Mix the barbecue and Tabasco sauces, then set aside.
When the barbecue is at medium-high heat, place the burgers on the grill with the X-shape on top so the bacon does not curl up. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, then flip and continue grilling until the burger reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
Ladle sauce onto the burgers and place them on toasted hamburger buns; garnish with lettuce and slices of tomato, cucumber and red onion.
A fine burger deserves a fine beer, and a well-chilled Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Pale Ale fits the bill. This medium-bodied ale’s accents of orange, marmalade, and caramel pair well with the fish and bacon combination.