Is it loco to put chorizo in a burger? I don’t think so, considering Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner. I’ve been calling this my South of the Border burger, because it’s got a mix of Mexican flavors and some nice heat. The onion & jalapeño relish, especially when using HOT jalapeño slices, may seem a tad loco, but it’s actually fantastico. The red pepper mayo adds more flavor and some subtle heat. Okay, so maybe this burger is hotter than I realized, which is why I should really call this the En Fuego Burger. But whatever you call it, this is a tasty way to celebrate. Along with a margarita, of course.
Chorizo Burgers with Onion & Jalapeño Relish and Red Pepper Mayo
For the burger:
1 1/4 lb of ground sirloin
1 large link of chorizo, casing removed & inside crumbled
1 small onion, grated
1 teaspoon of Adobo seasoning
½ cup of breadcrumbs
4 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
For the relish:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, finely sliced
½ cup of bottled hot jalapeño slices, drained
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
Salt and pepper
For the mayo:
2 medium jarred roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine the ground sirloin, chorizo, onion (just grate it right into the bowl), Adobo and breadcrumbs, but don’t overmix. Shape into 4 patties, and then put on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the relish. Add the olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeño slices, stir in the brown sugar and season with a little salt and pepper. Sauté for about 15 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the onions and jalapeños have caramelized. Let cool to room temperature.
When ready to eat, preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Add the burger patties and cook about 10 minutes on each side – which may be a little longer than you normally grill, but make sure the chorizo is cooked through. Add cheese slices on top of the burgers during the last 5 minutes of grilling.
While the burgers cook, make the mayo. Combine the red peppers and mayonnaise in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. (This can be made ahead of time; in fact, the flavors will be even better if you let it sit in the fridge overnight.)
To assemble the burgers, spread some red pepper mayo on the bottom of the buns. Add a burger, a spoonful of onion & jalapeño relish and then the top buns. Then eat.
I’m visiting my family in Texas this week, and wouldn’t you know it – my mom put me to work making appetizers for their annual Christmas party. It’s funny how things change as we get older, right? I was very happy to oblige, of course. Now I can finally (start to) repay all those years of her working away in the kitchen for every holiday, birthday and special event throughout my life. My dad requested the sausage stuffed mushrooms I made for him on Father’s Day, and for another one, I decided to make these butternut squash, ricotta and sage crostini. They seem fancy but are actually really simple to make. All of the parts taste great on their own, but when combined on top of a lightly toasted slice of bread – it’s practically a Christmas miracle. So you butter watch out, these go quickly. You don’t want to pout if you don’t get one.
Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Sage Crostini
– 1 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into small cubes
– 1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar
– ¾ cup of ricotta
– ½ teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
– Pinch of garlic salt
– 24 fresh sage leaves
– 1 baguette, sliced thin
– Olive oil
– Sea salt and pepper
Heat your oven to 425º.
In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the brown sugar. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is golden and tender. Stir once during roasting. Let cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, lemon zest and garlic salt, and season to taste with pepper. Cover and let chill until ready to use.
Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, lightly drizzle with olive oil and toast for a few minutes. At the same time, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few sage leaves and fry until the edges begin to curl and they turn dark green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat until all the sage leaves are fried.
While bread is still slightly warm, spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture on each slice. Top with a few cubes of roasted squash and a fried sage leaf or two. Then serve.