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Yucatecan Bacon Burger

The aromatic flavors of the Yucatan were introduced to me by Diana. I have put together ingredients and techniques that truly complement each other and put a new twist on the American burger. The tangy pickled onions are truly authentic and crown the burger like pink confetti. The traditional Salsa de Jitomate Yucatecan and the zest of applewood smoked bacon round out a burger that will transport you to a roadside café along the Gulf of Mexico.


Yucatecan Pickled Red Onions:
1 ¼ quarts water
2 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1 small 7 oz. can Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
Salsa de Jitomate Yucateca (Yucatecan Tomato Sauce):
1 ½ lbs. tomatoes 2 one-inch slices, cut horizontally across
one large white onion
1 habanero chili
½ teaspoon salt
Patties; 4 oz  Dry Cured Bacon Applewood Smoked
2 ½ lbs. ground chuck, 80% lean
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 Bakery Rolls, sliced in half
Vegetable oil for brushing grill


Directions In a 2-quart saucepan set on hot side of gas grill, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Blanch sliced red onions in boiling water for one minute. Drain. Return to pan and add cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to barely cover. Bring to a boil and simmer the onions one minute. Transfer onions and brine to a glass jar and chill. Mash one seeded chipotle pepper with a fork. Add one teaspoon of pepper mash to mayonnaise. Set aside and chill. Place a non-stick grill rack with small holes on top of hot grill. Brush with oil. Place on grill sheet tomatoes, onions and a habanero chili to char and soften. Place tomatoes and onions on a cutting board and chop roughly. Add mixture and ½ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan and place on cool end of grill. Stir and mash. Add the habanero, but leave whole to be removed later. Finely dice bacon and sauté in an 8-inch skillet placed on grill until lightly browned. Set aside. Spread meat out on cutting board. Sprinkle with one and a half teaspoon salt, a quarter teaspoon pepper and bacon. Mix together lightly and form 6 patties of equal size. Brush grill with oil. Grill patties over medium heat 4 minutes on one side, turn and grill about five minutes longer or until center reaches 135 degrees. Toward last few minutes of grilling toast buns cut side down on cool side of grill until light brown. On bottom halves of buns, spread a light coat of chipotle mayonnaise, then the burger. Place a heaping tablespoon of tomato sauce on burger and a tablespoon pickled red onions on top of that and finally, the top half of the bun. Serve.


One of the advantages of living near New York City is the opportunity to study with some of the greatest cooks in the world. I have taken advantage of that opportunity and incorporated what I've learned into the cooking that I do every day for my family and friends. This is the first time I've entered a cooking contest.