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A Taste of Havana Burgers

Since my wife is from Cuba she has introduced me to many of the Cuban flavors. My ultimate favorite Cuban meal is roast pork that has been marinated in Cuban mojito. This is also a delicacy that they eat for special holiday's such as on Christmas Eve. With this as an inspiration, I chose to use ground pork and the mojito to make a cuban style burger. Since my wife is from Havana in particular, I decided to name the burgers, A Taste of Havana Burgers, as a tribute to my beautiful wife. However, the preparation of this resipe was a family collaboration of my two daughters, my wife and myself.


Mojito Marinade:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
5 cloves of garlic (cut into quarters)
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 lbs ground pork
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup Mojito Marinade
Avocado Spread:
2 California Avocados
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Mojito Marinade (use remaining Mojito from patties)
1 sweet onion
1/2 cup bread crumbs
6 slices of swiss cheese
6 soft Kaiser rolls, split


To make Mojito Marinade combine freshly squeezed orange juice and lime juice with garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt into a blender and process until well blended. Set aside. To make marinated ground pork place the ground pork into a large mixing bowl. Add in salt, pepper, and mojito marinade. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well with hands. Cover and place in refrigerator for an hour and a half. To make avocado spread peel and slice both avocados into a bowl. Using a spoon mash avocados into a semi-smooth spread. Add salt, pepper, and mojito marinade and mix in throughly. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To prepare the onion cut it into 6 slices and set aside until ready to grill. To prepare the patties remove ground beef mixture from refrigerator. Mix in bread crumbs with hands evenly, remembering not to over handle the meat. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the rolls. Spray the grilling racks with a non-stick cooking spray or brush oil across them. Place the onions on the top rack of the grill and the patties on the bottom rack and cover. After 5 minutes of grilling turn the patties and onions, re-cover, and continue grilling for an additional 5 minutes for medium-well burgers. During the last 2 minutes of grilling add a slice of swiss cheese to each of the 6 patties. Remove onions and burgers at the same time and let sit for a couple of minutes during which carefully place rolls cut side down on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a patty on the bottom side of a roll and an onion slice on top of the patty. On the cut side of the top of a roll place a generous amount of avocado spread. Add roll tops and serve.


By being able to combine an everyday classic with a little Cuban flavor these burgers have quickly become a family favorite.