Guacapotle Burger with Frizzled Rajas and Shaved Spanish Manchego Cheese

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

My heritage and the places I have traveled. My family is of Southern heritage. I have traveled and lived in Mexico and New Mexico…spending many years in California.


Burger Patties
2 ¼ pounds ground chuck (20% fat)
¼ cup White Cabernet Sauvignon wine (I used Sutter Home)
1 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
½ tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Guacapotle (2 parts)
Chipotle mixture: (make first before avocado mixture)
3 Tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon dark Karo Corn Syrup
½ teaspoon molasses
2½ teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
2 teaspoons McCormick’s Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
1 mini cube Knorr Chipotle seasoning (broken up with a mortar and pestle before adding)
Avocado mixture:
1½ large Haas avocados (peeled & pitted)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed limejuice
3 tablespoons sour cream (I used Tillamook Brand)
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1½ teaspoon kosher salt

Frizzled Rajas
2 lunch brown paper bags (place one bag inside the other, making one double bag)
1½ cup all purpose flour
2½ teaspoons salt (reserving ½ teaspoon for seasoning the rajas once removed from the fryer)
1 mini cube Knorr Chipotle seasoning (broken up with a mortar and pestle before adding)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 Poblano chilies (These chilies are pretty large, I used 4 large chilies)
1 large zip lock bag for sweating off the skins after roasting
¾ large Vidalia onion (my onion weighed 13 ounces)
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups canola oil

You will also need the following:
6 pieces of wax paper cut into 6-inch squares
8 ounces shaved Manchego cheese (about 1¼ oz per burger)
3 tablespoons spreadable unsalted butter, for spreading on each side of the buns
6 Bakery fresh Kaiser rolls
6 large leaves of Butter/Bibb leaf lettuce washed and dried thoroughly
Mandolin with a “V” blade could be helpful for slicing the onions


This recipe was prepared using a gas grill. A gas grill should be preheated to medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. You can also use a charcoal grill with a cover, heated to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, you can prepare the burger patties while the charcoals are preparing or if using a gas grill you will want to light the gas grill, for preheating, 10 minutes before you begin roasting the chilies.

In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly, mix ground chuck, Sutter Home wine, Worcestershire Sauce, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Shape each patty and place it on the wax paper on a cookie sheet pan with a cover. Then place the burger patties in refrigerator until ready to grill. The wax paper makes it easier to pick up the burgers and place on the grill. The burgers will weigh approximately 6½ ounces each.

Preparing the Guacapotle is done in two steps: chipotle mixture and the avocado mixture. Make the chipotle mixture first. In a small sauté pan (mine is about 4 inches across in diameter) add the tomato paste, brown sugar, Karo syrup, molasses, Tabasco Chipotle pepper sauce, McCormick’s Maple Smokehouse seasoning, and the Knorr Chipotle cube. Blend well with a small whisk. Place the pan on the outer edges of the grill to melt the brown sugar and meld the ingredients to a smooth consistency. This can be accomplished in 3 minutes. Watch and whisk constantly to prevent burning. Remove from grill and place the pan on top of bowl of ice for cooling.
Avocado mixture: In a medium size bowl, add the avocados and lime juice, mash until smooth and slightly chunky, add the sour cream, chopped cilantro, and salt. Mix until well blended.
Now combine the cooled chipotle mixture with the avocado mixture to complete the “Guacapotle”. Cover this dish tightly with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic wrap to make contact with the “Guacapotle”. This will prevent oxidation/discoloration. Refrigerate immediately.

To prepare the Frizzled Rajas: In the doubled brown paper bag combine the flour, salt, cube of Knorr Chipotle seasoning, and ground cumin, then shake to mix well. Set aside. This mixture will be used for coating the poblano chilies and onions (frizzled rajas). Wash and dry the poblano chilies and place them on the medium/hot grill rack for roasting and to sweat off the peel. Close the lid but watch and turn about every minute. They will roast in about 6 minutes. Once roasted, place the chilies in a large zip lock bag for sweating. This will take approximately 15-20 minutes. While chilies are sweating and cooling, pour the oil into a cast iron Dutch oven and place on the hot grill rack with a thermometer attached. Heating the oil to 360 degrees will take about 15 minutes. While the oil is heating you will now prepare the onion portion of the rajas by cutting the onion in half, then slice by using the “V” blade on your mandolin. Once sliced, cut the onions again in half by hand (like a crescent half moon) and in a shallow bowl submerge them in the Buttermilk.

Once the onions are submerged take out the roasted chilies, cut off the stems, slice each chili lengthwise in half, scrape away the seeds and any prominent veins, and peel away the charred skin. You will be left with the soft thick meat of the chili. Now cut the chili crosswise, making quarter inch strips and immerse into the same bowl with the sliced onions combining the onions and chili into the Buttermilk. They will continue to soak in the buttermilk until ready for coating with the flour and frying up.

Once the oil is heated to 360 degrees you are ready to fry up the rajas. Take a small handful of the strips of chilies and sliced onions, shaking off any excess buttermilk and drop into the bagged flour mixture. Shake to coat then remove from the bag of flour mixture, again shaking of any excess flour. Place coated rajas into a large spider wire skimmer and give another little shake. Carefully drop the chilies and onions into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per batch. You will most likely fry the rajas in a couple of batches. Once golden brown remove the fried chilies and onions (Rajas) with the skimmer and place on a plate lined with paper towels for draining the excess oil. Sprinkle with half of the remaining salt and give the rajas a toss to evenly coat with the salt (¼ teaspoon per batch). Divide them into 6 even piles…one pile of rajas for each burger. Tent with foil and set aside.

Cooking the burgers: Place the burger patties on the hot grill, cover and cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium doneness (160 degrees internal temperature). Once turned, add the shaved Manchego cheese (1¼ ounce to each patty). After adding the cheese to the burgers and close the grill so the cheese has a chance to melt. After a couple of minutes place the buttered buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Once the burgers have reached medium doneness and the buns are toasted to a light golden brown, remove the patties and buns from the grill.

To assemble the burgers, spread each side of a bun with the “Guacapotle”, add the lettuce on top of the bottom half of the bun, add the burger patty with the melted cheese, add the crispy rajas to the top of the burger, then add the top half of the bun.

Makes 6 burgers.
Suggested Wine Pairing: Sutter Home White Cabernet Sauvignon