RECIPES: Recipe Details

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New Mexico Red Chile Piñon Burgers

This burger exemplifies New Mexican cuisine at it's finest, using traditional Southwest ingredients like red chile and piñon pine nuts. Although chile grown in other areas will make an excellent burger, I am fortunate to live in New Mexico, where I can get world class chile at just about any store or roadside stand.


3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
2.25 pounds ground chuck
¼ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup mild red chile puree
¼ cup piñon pine nuts, chopped
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 pieces thick-sliced bacon
6 slices asadero cheese
6 whole wheat bakery buns
Spray margarine
Chili Mayonnaise:
6 Tbsp. Mayonesa (Mayonnaise with Lime Juice added)
2 tsp. red chili powder
6 ripe tomato slices
6 slices red onion
24 slices ripe avocado


• Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill. • Use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic cloves and sea salt together to make a paste • To make the patties, combine the garlic paste with the ground chuck, chopped cilantro, red chile puree and chopped pine nuts. Mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, then form into patties, making the centers slightly thinner than the edges. • When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook, turning once, until done – about 6 minutes on each side. • Meanwhile, cook the bacon slices directly on the grill rack – about 3 minutes per side. • During the final moments of grilling the patties, place a slice of asadero cheese on each patty. • When the patties and bacon are cooked, set them aside on a cooler part of the grill to keep warm. • Separate the buns, then spray the cut portion of each half with the spray margarine. • Place the buns, cut side down, on the grill rack and toast lightly. • Meanwhile, mix the mayonesa and red chili powder in a small bowl. • To assemble burgers, spread some of the Chili Mayonnaise (1 tablespoon per burger) on the cut sides of each bun half. On the bottom half of each bun, place a patty, bacon, tomato slice, red onion slice, and 4 slices of avocado. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.


Grilling times may vary, depending on the type of grill used and the grill temperature.