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Sweet Island Cubano Burger

The Sweet Island Cubano Burger is a unique hybrid of two classic Cuban dishes, Picadillo and the famous Cuban sandwich. This burger, which is prepared and pressed like a classic Cuban sandwich, embodies many of the basic ingredients found in Picadillo while also utilizing other ingredients typically found in Cuban cuisines.

Ingredients 

- Cooking spray
- 1 large green bell pepper; cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion; chopped
- 4 garlic cloves; minced
- 2 lb. ground top sirloin
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- One 7 oz. Jar diced pimentos
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons prepared store bought Mojo Sauce
- 6 Cubanito rolls or 1 loaf of Cuban bread cut into 6 long, equal pieces (long sandwich rolls, such as hoagie rolls, can be substituted if specified bread is hard to find)
- 6 “Bread and Butter Sandwich Stuffers” pickles
- 6 slices Swiss cheese

Instructions 

1. Spray grill with cooking spray. 2. Heat grill to Medium-High heat. 3. Wash the green pepper, remove the core, and then cut it in half, down the middle. Next, peel the onion and cut it in half. 4. Spray the onion and bell pepper halves lightly with cooking spray, and then place them on the grill. Grill the vegetables for 10 minutes and then remove them from the heat. 5. In a large mixing bowl combine the minced garlic, ground top sirloin, raisins, salt, ground black pepper, ¼ cup of the tomato sauce, and pimentos. Mix thoroughly. 6. Chop the onion and the green bell pepper and then add it to the bowl containing the ground top sirloin and mix well. 7. To form the hamburger patties, divide the meat mixture into six equal portions and mold into long patties to fit the buns. The hamburger patties should be about 2-3 inches wide and between 4-5 inches long. 8. Place patties on the grill and cook on high heat for about 5-7 minutes before flipping. Once the burgers are flipped, brush the patties with remaining ¼ cup of tomato sauce and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. 9. While burgers are cooking, create the Mojo-Mustard sauce. To create, combine ½ cup yellow mustard, 1/3 cup honey, and 3 tablespoons of the prepared store bought Mojo Sauce in a medium size bowl and stir until thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes). 10. The last few minutes that the patties are grilling, place each half of the Cubanito rolls (the “buns”) onto the grill, and grill the inside of each half for 2 minutes and then set them aside. 11. When patties are done remove them from heat. Place a medium sized pan on the grill at high heat. Allow the pan heat up while you build the burgers. To Build the Sweet Island Cubano Burger: - Spread the Mojo-Mustard sauce evenly onto each half of the heated buns. Then place a patty on top of that. On top of the patty, place one slice of Swiss cheese, and one pickle strip, followed by the top of the bun. - Spray each hamburger bun lightly with cooking spray. - Place three completed burgers on the grill and then place the heated pan on top of them. Hold the pan’s handle and press down slightly. Cook the hamburgers until the cheese begins to melt and buns become crispy (about 3 minutes). When complete, remove the burgers, and repeat with remaining three hamburgers. - Cut each burger in half diagonally. Arrange Sweet Island Cubano Burgers on a plate or platter and serve with a smile! Bueno Apetito!

Comments 

I know many people will enjoy this burger because it is delicious and has a very unique taste. Also, I think it will introduce people to Cuban cuisine who may not be familiar with this particular style of cooking. Being half Cuban, this burger reflects my culture as well as my tastes in food. I love Picadillo and Cuban sandwiches and I thought combing the essence of the two dishes in a single burger would be sensational. After creating this recipe, making, and eating the burger many times, I can honestly say that it is the best burger I have ever had!