RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Maui Onion Bacon Burgers with Island Guacamole

After moving to Maui 10 years ago I fell in love with the multi-cultural flavors here and this burger features the best of Hawaii’s local products and tastes. The patties are tender and juicy thanks to the sweet onions and fresh papaya, with flavors enhanced by crispy bacon and Asian spices. The accompanying guacamole goes "island-style" with the addition of fresh ginger, macadamia nuts, and daikon radish, and is complimented with the crunch of lightly grilled sweet Maui onions, peppery Hawaiian watercress, and juicy island tomatoes. This burger is a great example of the exciting flavors that Hawaii brings to America’s foods.

Ingredients 

Island Guacamole
1/4 cup onion and garlic-flavored macadamia nuts
2 small, ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped
1/4 cup diced daikon radish
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Patties
12 slices pre-cooked bacon
2 pounds ground chuck
1/3 cup chopped Maui onion or other sweet onion
1/3 cup minced ripe papaya
1 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon Asian style spiced sea salt

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill grid and rack
2 small Maui onions or other sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
6 seeded hamburger buns or sandwich rolls, split
4 cups chopped watercress leaves
12 thin slices vine-ripened tomatoes

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill with a cover, or prepare a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the guacamole, chop the macadamia nuts in a small food processor and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the avocados, daikon, cilantro, ginger, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, chili garlic sauce, and salt. Mash lightly with a fork, leaving some chunks of avocado. Season with salt to taste, cover, and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
To make the patties, crumble the bacon into a large bowl and add the chuck, onion, papaya, chili garlic sauce, and spiced sea salt. Combine well, handling as little as possible, and form into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.

Heat a nonstick grill grid or basket on the grill and brush with oil. Add the onions and grill 2 to 3 minutes until starting to brown but still crisp. Set aside.

Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack over direct heat, cover, and cook 3 to 4 minutes until browned on the bottom. Turn the patties over and grill until done to preference, about 5 minutes for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns cut sides down on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread the guacamole liberally over the cut sides of the roll tops. Place equal portions of the watercress on each roll bottom and top with a patty, 2 tomato slices, and an equal portion of the onion rings. Add the bun tops and serve.

Comments 

Due to papaya’s tenderizing enzyme, do not make the patties more than 2 hours before grilling.

If Asian style spiced sea salt isn’t available (made by McCormick’s Gourmet Collection), 1 1/4 teaspoons salt can be substituted.

The quality of the buns or rolls is more important than the type. They should be fresh and moist but not airy or delicate. They need to be substantial enough to hold the patties without falling apart.