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TEX-MEX ZIN BURGERS WITH JALAPENO BACON POPPER SAUCE

Jalapeno poppers were the inspiration for this recipe. One of my favorite appetizers, it seems only natural to combine them into a burger!

Ingredients 

Mayo:

1/2 cup ripe avocado, chopped

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE:

12 thick slices bacon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup heavy cream

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups shredded Asadero (or white cheddar ) cheese

1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PATTIES:

2 pounds ground chuck

3 tablespoons Sutter Home Zinfandel

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons fresh (Mexican if available) oregano, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ground ancho chili pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

12 slices good quality Texas toast bread slices

3 cups shaved (chiffonade) crisp iceberg lettuce

12 large slices good quality ripe tomatoes

6 thin red onion slices (rings separated)

Instructions 

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Place avocado in small bowl and mash with back of fork. Mix in mayonnaise, cilantro, 2 teaspoons lime juice, 1 garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well combined. Cover, and set aside or refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.

Place the bacon in a large fireproof skillet and cook on the grill rack until bacon begins to crisp, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove bacon from pan and place

on paper towels to drain. Once bacon is cool, coarsely chop, set aside.

Meanwhile, place a small fire-proof saucepan on rack of preheated grill. Add butter and whisk until melted. Whisk in flour until well combined. Slowly whisk in cream until hot and starting to bubble. Whisk in cream cheese until melted then whisk in shredded Asadero a little at a time until smooth. Whisk in chopped bacon, jalapeno, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Combine ground chuck, wine, 3 garlic cloves, oregano, ancho chili pepper, 2 teaspoons salt, cumin, coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in large bowl until just combined being careful not to over-mix. Form into 6 square shaped patties (to fit bread).

Brush grill rack with vegetable oil. Place patties on rack and cook about 4-6 minutes per sides or until desired doneness. During last few minutes of cooking, place bread on outer edges of rack for about 1-2 minute per side or until lightly toasted.

To assemble burgers, spread a generous amount of avocado mayo on one slice of toast. Top with a generous amount of lettuce, 2 slices of tomato, 1 slice onion (rings separated), burger patty, generous amount of cheese sauce, then top with another slice of toast.

Makes 6 burgers.

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