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New Orleans French Quarter Spicy Creole Pork Burger with Avocado & Plantain Relish

This spicy burger illustrates the great blend of cultures represented in the New Orleans French Quarter and includes a spicy pork burger on a French roll topped melted manchego cheese and a fresh tasty relish made from plantains and avocados from the French Market produce market.

Ingredients 

PATTIES:
1/4 ounce envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
2 teaspoons light brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup cold water
2 pounds freshly ground fatty pork shoulder
1/3 cup finely ground bacon fat
1 cup finely chopped fresh green onions
5 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 finely crushed bay leaves
2 teaspoons finely crushed dried sage leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 teaspoons table salt

AVOCADO & PLANTAIN RELISH :
1 large ripe Plantain- (black skinned)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 cup water
2 ripe Hass avocados-diced
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon table salt

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices of manchego cheese
6 fresh French rolls, split

Instructions 

TO MAKE THE PATTIES:
Add the gelatin and brown sugar to the hot water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved then add the cold water and stir to form a gelatin/sugar solution.
Gently, but thoroughly, combine the gelatin/sugar solution, ground pork, ground bacon fat, chopped green onions, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, black pepper, crushed bay leaves; crushed dried sage leaves, dried oregano and table salt to form a seasoned patty mixture. Form the patty mixture into 6 equal sized patties. Cover and refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.
TO MAKE THE RELISH:
Split the plantain lengthwise. Seal the two plantain halves, the brown sugar and the water within a foil packet formed from a section of heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the sealed foiled packet onto a medium/hot grill and cook for 15 minutes turning the packet over after 8 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the sealed packet from the grill and allow it to cool sealed for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cooked plantain halves from the packet, remove the peels and dice the plantain flesh.
Gently combine the diced cooked plantain, diced avocado, diced red onion, fresh lime juice, mayonnaise and salt; cover and set aside.

Preheat a gas grill to medium heat. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning every 3-4, until an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F is reached and the patties are done to preference. Place a manchego cheese slice on each of the patties during the last 3-4 minutes of grilling. Place the French rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.
To assemble the burgers, place a cheese-topped patty on each toasted bun bottom, followed by an equal portion of the avocado & plantain relish. Add the toasted bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

The gelatin/sugar solution in these burgers makes them wonderfully juicy, much like the gelatin in slow cooked pork ribs makes them juicy. They can easily be cooked to a higher internal temperature than most burgers without drying out and don