RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Caribbean Conch Burgers with Mango Salsa and Jerk Mayonnaise

Ingredients 

Patties:
12 ounces conch (or scungilli), fresh or canned
8 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, coarsely chopped
8 ounces cod fillet, coarsely chopped
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons Pickapeppa sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 1/4 cup rice cracker crumbs

Mango Salsa:
1 large mango, diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Thai sweet red chili sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Jerk Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon jerk seasoning sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice

2 - 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing the grill grates
2 tablespoons peanut oil for brushing the burgers
3 tablespoons butter, softened
6 good-quality sesame seed buns
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

Instructions 

Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

If using fresh conch, pound it between two sheets of plastic wrap to tenderize it, then cut it into large chunks. If using canned, rinse and drain the conch.

For patties, combine the conch, shrimp, cod, lime zest and juice, celery, red pepper, Pickapeppa sauce, Tabasco sauce, thyme, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground but not pureed. Transfer to a large bowl and add egg and cracker crumbs. Handling the ingredients as little as possible, mix well and form into 6 patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.

For salsa, mix together the mango and scallion in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the
sweet chili sauce, peanut oil, ginger, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the mango and scallions and stir to coat. Add the cilantro and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

To make the jerk mayonnaise, whisk together in a small bowl the mayonnaise, jerk seasoning sauce and lime juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

When the grill is ready, brush the grate with vegetable oil. Brush both sides of the burgers with peanut oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes per side, turning only once. Remove the burgers from the grill to a plate, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Butter the buns and place on the outer edges of the grill to toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble the burgers, spread the jerk mayonnaise on the bottom halves of the buns. To each, add a slice of tomato, the burger, some mango salsa and the top half of the bun.

Makes 6 burgers

Comments 

I tried to use frozen conch in this recipe, but found it impossible to tenderize the meat. Since I cannot get fresh, I’ve been using the canned conch very successfully to give flavor and texture to this burger. If Jamaican Pickapeppa sauce is not available, replace it with 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire and an additional 1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce.