RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Oaxacan Burger of the Gods (pronounced wo-hawk-en)

Oaxaca is the culinary heart of Mexico and is considered “The Land of Seven Moles”. Mole is a sauce that takes days to make and is made with roasted vegetables, dried chilies, nuts and ground cacao beans among other ingredients. The sauce is used as a condiment for all types of meat and in various dishes. This burger celebrates Oaxaca with ingredients commonly used in Oaxacan cooking including annatto, chipotle chilies, mangoes, pickled cactus and mole sauce.

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1/2 cup Sutter Home Pinot Noir, divided (1/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped, divided
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 tablespoon ground annatto seed
1 tablespoons brown mole paste (see ingredient note)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 large ripe mango
Oil for the grill
3/4 pound Mexican Chihuahua cheese (or mild cheddar cheese), sliced
6 large sesame buns
6 leaves of green leaf lettuce
3/4 cups Nopalitos (pickled cactus leaves, see ingredient note)

Instructions 

Prepare a grill for direct cooking using medium high heat.

In a small bowl, mix the chipotle puree, garlic salt, onion powder, 1/4 cup wine and cilantro. Mix well. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and mix in the prepared herb and spice patty filling. Shape the meat into 6 evenly sized patties. Sprinkle the annatto over the top of the patties and gently rub in. Do the same for the opposite side. This will turn the burgers reddish in color. Cover with foil until ready to grill.

Rehydrate the mole paste with 1/4 cup red wine in a medium bowl using a fork. When there are no more lumps, stir in the mayonnaise.

Pit and peel the mango and cut in half. Slice each pitted half into 3 even slices. Oil the hot side of the grill and place the mango slices carefully on the grate. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side to caramelize. Remove from the grill and let rest.

Oil the grill rack with more oil. Place the patties over direct heat, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium or until done to preference. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the final 2 minutes of grilling.

Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread some mole mayo sauce on both the top and bottom buns. Top the bottom bun with a leaf of lettuce and top the lettuce with two tablespoons Nopalitos pickles. Then add the cooked patty and top the patty with a piece of the grilled mango. Top with the top bun and serve. Repeat for the remaining 5 burgers.

Comments 

Ingredients note: Both the Mole paste and the Nopalitos can be found in the Mexican section of your grocery store. In Vermont, I found the brand “Dona Maria” in most stores. They make both the Mole and Nopalitos. Goya makes Nopalitos as well.