Goober Bacon Burger with Crispy Onion and Jalapeño Laces

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.


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
6 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
Peanut oil, for frying and brushing grill rack
1 1/2 cups self-rising white corn meal mix
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large onion, 1/4 cup grated, remainder sliced lengthwise into 1/4” wide strips
3 jalapeño peppers, sliced lengthwise 1/4” wide strips
1 cup peanut butter, divided
2 pounds ground chuck
6 honey wheat hamburger buns, split
6 iceberg lettuce leaves, to fit buns
6 slices tomato



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

Place peanut butter in small, heavy heat-proof saucepan and heat on grill rack until just warm.

In small bowl, combine mayonnaise and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate.

Place bacon in a large, heavy heat-proof skillet; set on grill rack to fry bacon. Transfer bacon to paper towels when crisp. While bacon is frying, combine 1/3 cup warm peanut butter and grated onion (with juices) in a large bowl; mix well. Add ground chuck, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix lightly, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit buns.

Discard bacon drippings and wipe skillet clean with paper towels; return skillet to rack. Add about 1” oil to skillet; heat until oil is hot enough for frying. Combine corn meal mix, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a shallow bowl; place buttermilk in another shallow bowl. Dip onion and jalapeño strips into dry corn meal mix, then into buttermilk, and back into corn meal mix. Shake off excess and fry in oil for 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Transfer “laces” to paper towels.

When grill is ready, brush the grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes, turn patties and cook an additional 5-7 minutes, or to desired doneness. Place buns, cut side down around outer edges of grill during last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble burgers, layer as follows: bottom buns, 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and patties. Spread each patty with about 1 Tablespoon warm peanut butter; add bacon, onion and jalapeño laces, and top buns.