Cubano Mojo 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.


Pickled cucumbers & onions
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup peeled, halved, seeded, thinly sliced cucumber
3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

2 1/4 lbs. ground chuck
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon juice
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 /2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Grilled Sweet Plantains
2 large plantains, peeled
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

12 slices Swiss cheese (8 ounces)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 teaspoons grainy mustard
6 Hawaiian sandwich rolls, split
12 slices deli smoked ham (about 6 ounces)


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the Pickled Cucumbers & Onions, whisk together vinegar, granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, in a medium bowl, until well combined; stir in cucumber, onion, and cilantro, cover, and allow to marinate until ready for use.

To make the patties, in a large bowl, add chuck, olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Combine well, handling the meat as little as possible; form into 6 patties.

Slice the plantains in half. Slice each plantain half, lengthwise, into three strips, making sure they fit the bun size. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter and ginger. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place plantains on rack; grill 6 minutes, flipping once and basting with brown sugar-butter mixture, until softened and grill marks are achieved. Remove from grill and cover.

Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. Place the cheese slices on the patties during the last 3 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, stir together 4 tablespoons butter and mustard, in a small bowl, until combined; evenly divide and spread over the cut sides of rolls. Drain the pickled cucumbers & onions; divide plantains onto each roll bottom and top with patties, followed by pickled cucumbers & onions, ham slices and roll tops. Place the burgers back on the outer edges of the grill rack and grill 2 minutes, or until the rolls are toasted. Flip and toast on the other side for an additional 2 minutes, pressing burgers down using the back of a spatula to flatten. Remove from grill and serve.

Makes 6 burgers