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Southwest Nopalitos Burger with Pepper-Bacon Quiche and Grilled Tomatillo Mayo

The flavors of the Southwest are abundant in this Tex-Mex inspired burger. Avocadoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, napolitos, bacon, tomato, onion, and cheddar cheese all on the same burger? Simply fantastic!

Ingredients 

Vegetable oil for rubbing grill grates
Mayo:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Quiche:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium jalapenos, seeded and halved
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into four strips
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup cooked and crumbled hickory smoked bacon
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
6 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divide use
Patties:
2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup jarred nopalitos, well drained and chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
6 deli-style onion topped hamburger buns, split
3 cups mixed greens
6 thin large tomato slices
2 large ripe avocadoes, seeded and thinly sliced

Instructions 

Heat grill to medium high heat. Brush grill grates with vegetable oil. For mayo, use oil to brush tomatillos. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side until grill marks appear. Remove from grill and finely chop. Place in colander to drain for 5 minutes. Place in a small bowl and stir in mayonnaise, onion, and cilantro leaves. Refrigerate until ready to use. For quiche, use oil to brush jalapeno halves and bell pepper strips. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until grill marks appear. Remove and finely chop. Place in a medium bowl. Stir in salt, garlic, bacon, green onions, cheese, and eggs. Place a small (4-5 inch) fire-proof skillet on edge of grill. Add 1/2 teaspoon of butter until melted. Add 1/6 of round mixture to skillet. Cook until eggs are almost set. Turn over and cook until set. Remove to a foil-lined fire-proof plate. Cover with more foil to keep warm. Repeat steps to make remaining quiches. Completely cover quiches with foil until time to assemble burgers. For patties, stir chuck, Zinfandel, salt, pepper, nopalitos, and basil together in a large bowl just until mixed. Handling the mixture as little as possible, form mixture into six patties to fit buns. Place patties on grill rack. Cover and grill for 4-6 minutes per side for medium or to desired doneness. Place buns, cut side down on edge of grill during last few minutes of grilling time to lightly toast. During last minute of cooking time, place a quiche on top of each patty. To assemble the burgers, spread toasted sides of buns evenly with mayo. Add a quiche-topped patty to each bun bottom. Add ½ cup greens, a tomato slice, and 2-3 avocado slices to each. Add bun tops. Secure each burger with two skewers then cut in half to serve. Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

I have only recently discovered nopalitos in the Hispanic foods section of our local grocery store and I find them utterly delicious with a wide variety of uses in recipes. From salads to pizza, and now of course burgers, I can’t seem to find anything we don’t like them with!