RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Latin Love Affair Burgers

Ingredients 

Creamy Garlic Sauce

• 5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher or fresh ground sea salt
• 1/3 cup light olive oil
• 1 Tablespoon lime juice
• 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Aji Pepper Sauce

• 1/2 of a large jalapeño pepper, diced finely
• 7 Aji peppers, chopped finely
• 5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher or fresh ground sea salt
• 1/3 cup light olive oil
• 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 1 Tablespoon lime juice
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Black Beans

• 1 can black bean soup (I prefer Goya brand)
• 1/4 of a sweet yellow onion, finely diced
• 1/4 of a sweet bell pepper, finely diced
• 1 large clove of garlic, minced
• 1 Tablespoon canola oil

Caramelized Onions

• 3 large Vidalia onions, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
• 1/4 cup light olive oil
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Maduros (Sweet Plantains)

• 3 Very Ripe Plantains (they should be soft and mostly black)
• 3 cups Canola Oil

Patties

• 2 pounds lean ground beef
• 4 Tbsp really cold butter to be grated into meat mixture
• 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt or fresh ground sea salt
• 1 lime, cut in half

• Canola oil, for brushing on the grill rack
• 2 loaves of fresh Cuban bread with ends cut off and cut into 5" burger buns, split
• 1/2 cup melted butter

Instructions 

Preheat a gas grill to high.

To make the Creamy Garlic Sauce, put the garlic and salt in a blender and blend for 15 seconds, then begin streaming in the oil, very slowly to allow the sauce to emulsify and thicken, add the lime juice; blend for about 1 minute. Then drizzle in the heavy whipping very slowly and blend for about 1 minute. Put sauce in small lidded container and chill until assembling the burgers.

To make the Aji Pepper Sauce, put the jalapeno, aji pepper, garlic, and salt in the blender (rinsed out) and blend for 15 seconds, then begin streaming in the oil, very slowly to allow the sauce to emulsify and thicken, add the lime juice, vinegar and red pepper flakes; blend for about 1 minute. Then drizzle in the heavy whipping, slowly as well and blend for about 1 minute. Put sauce in small lidded container and chill until assembling the burgers.

To make the black beans, in a 1 quart fire proof stainless steel sauce pan heat oil and add onions and red peppers and cook about 7-10 minutes, then add in minced garlic, cook for another 30 seconds. Add in drained black beans and cook for 18-20 minutes. Once cooked mash well with a potato masher and cover and set aside.

To make the caramelized onions, combine the onion, oil, salt and pepper in a 14-inch or 16-inch fire-proof skillet. Cook the onion mixture for 18-20 minutes, until the onions are caramelized. Remove the pan from the grill, cover and set aside.

To make the maduros, pour the oil into a large, deep, fire-proof stainless steel saucepan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat on the grill until the temperature reaches 300-320 degrees F. Cut the sweet plantains lengthwise into long 1/2 inch slices. Gently place the plantain slices into the hot oil and cook on each side about 7-10 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove the plantains with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Place the paper drained maduros into a large piece of aluminum foil and set aside.

To make the patties, mix the lean beef, butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Quickly shape the beef mixture into 6 rectangular equally-sized (about 5.5 oz) patties to fit the size and shape of the Cuban bread rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to grill.

Turn grill temperature to medium high heat.

When all the other elements are complete and the grill is ready for the burgers, brush the grill rack with canola oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once and squirt 1/2 of the lime on all the patties and then turn once more and squirt the other 1/2 of the lime on all the patties. Grill until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.

Meanwhile, brush the melted butter on the top and bottom buns. Turn the heat of grill down to medium low and position the buns, cut side down, and grill 1-2 minutes to toast lightly. Remove buns from grill and press tops and bottoms together slightly as you would with a Cuban sandwich.

To assemble the burgers, spoon aji sauce on cut side of the bottom bun, followed by 1/8 cup black beans, burger patty, equal portions of caramelized onions, equal portion of the maduros and spoon 2 Tablespoons of the creamy garlic sauce on top, add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers

Comments 

Comments: This recipe is inspired by the love of different, yet complimentary, Latin flavors that I have experienced since moving to Florida. The sauces are inspired by a restaurant we go to at least a couple of times of month (been going for 9 years now), it is a Chilean/Columbian restaurant; they also have some of the best sweet plantains. The black beans and the Cuban bread are inspired by the delicious Cuban restaurants here in Orlando as well as the many I have been to South Florida. The caramelized onions and the grilled burger are a nod to the Cuban dish Bistec de Palomilla (steaks with sautéed onions). The recipe may seem complex but the steps go quickly and you can do a lot of the prep ahead time. You can make the sauces up to 2 days prior to using (they need to chill anyway to thicken up) and cook the black beans and caramelized onions ahead of time so if you are entertaining you only need to make the maduros and burger patties in real time. If there is any leftover sauce we usually use it for dipping the burgers too, Delicioso!