Black Mesa Panela Burgers

Pairs well with:

White Merlot

Imagine sipping a lighter Merlot. This fresh, pale-pink wine is a nice change from traditional red or white wines.


2 lbs. ground beef chuck
1/2 cup crumbled/chopped panela cheese
3-4 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 cup chopped roasted peeled poblano chiles
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 Tbsp. black strap molasses
1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules, dissolved in 2 tbsp. water
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup small super sweet corn (can be fresh or frozen, thawed)
1/3 cup grated cotija cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 cup diced California avocado
1/3 cup Colavita olive oil
6 large split poppyseed rolls
6 large slices red ripe tomato



Heat grill to medium-high heat. Crumble beef into large bowl. Add panela cheese, 2 tsp. salt, chiles and onion. Mix gently and form into 6 patties.

Mix molasses, coffee-water mixture, and black pepper. Brush over burgers and let rest five minutes to absorb the “glaze.”

Meanwhile, mix corn, cotija cheese, lime juice and avocado. Mash lightly, add salt to taste and reserve.

Drizzle patties with olive oil and rub grill rack with remaining oil.

Grill patties about 4 minutes per side, or until medium-rare. During the last minute of cooking, toast cut side of rolls.

Place patties on bottom of rolls, add a tomato slice, and top with a scoop of Cotija-Corn Avocado Spread. Top with remaining roll halves and serve immediately.