Burgers a la Huancaina (Peruvian Burgers with Potatoes and Cheese Sauce)

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


3 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced very thin (about 1 pound)
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Red Zinfandel
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teaspoons Peruvian aji amarillo paste
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons Peruvian aji amarillo paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 cup creamed cottage cheese
4 ounces cream cheese

Avocado Spread:
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing the grill grates
3 tablespoons softened butter
6 good-quality hamburger buns
1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded


Preheat gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

For potatoes, tear off 3 large pieces of heavy-duty, non-stick aluminum foil. Divide butter into thirds, cut into small cubes, and place one-third on each piece of foil. Arrange one sliced potato on each, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the foil tightly to form packets; cook on the grill for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove and keep warm.

For patties, combine the onion, garlic, wine, Worcestershire sauce, aji paste, salt, cumin, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and mix with the seasonings, handling the meat as little as possible. Form into 6 patties that fit the size of the buns. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

To make the cheese sauce, put half-and half, onion, garlic, aji paste, salt and turmeric in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Add cottage cheese and cream cheese; pulse until smooth. Transfer to a small grill-proof saucepan and set aside.

For avocado spread, mash avocado in a small bowl with lemon juice and salt; stir in mayonnaise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or place in cooler.

When the grill is ready, brush the grate with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes per side, turning only once. Put the saucepan with the cheese sauce on the grill; cook until heated through. Butter the buns, and place them on the outer edges of the grill to toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble the burgers, spread each of the bottom buns with the avocado sauce, top with shredded lettuce, a burger, potatoes, and a dollop of cheese sauce. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers