Miami Spice Burgers with Plantain Salsa and Avocado Aioli

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.

It reminds me of the times I have been in South Florida eating the authentic Latino flavors.I love the freshness and variety of ingredients, the boldness of the spices and the great aroma when it’s cooking.


1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp Ground Chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. Whole dried thyme leaves
1/2 C. Sutter Home Merlot
2 lb. ground chuck

Avocado Aioli

3 cloves garlic, mashed
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper, fresh ground
1 tsp. lime juice
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 Very Ripe Green Avocado (about 1 – 1 ½ Cups flesh)


3 Tbl. Canola Oil
6 green onions, chopped
1 C. White corn kernels, frozen
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped fine
2 ripe plantains, sliced ½” thick rounds
4 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
1 C. chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from one fresh lime juice, (about 3 T.)
Large Pinch Salt
Large Pinch Cracked Pepper

6 Cuban Bread Rolls, or Cuban Bread sliced into
4″ lengths
Canola Oil for Grilling
2 split garlic cloves
6 Romaine Lettuce Leaves
6 Ripe tomato Slices
6 slices Monterey Jack Cheese


For patties, combine all ingredients except beef, allowing spices to absorb some of the wine. Add to ground chuck, and mix thoroughly, but sparingly. Shape meat into six even patties. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator.

Start heating the grill to medium high.

For Aioli, in a blender combine first four ingredients and blend until garlic is chopped, slowly add mayonnaise while blender is running, then the avocado. The Aioli should be smooth and well combined.
Store covered in refrigerator.

For Salsa, heat oil over prepared grill till an onion piece will start to sizzle when dropped into it. Add onion and corn kernels, and stir for a couple minutes until onion starts to soften. Add garlic, jalapeno and plantain, stir together and cook until plantain starts to soften. Add remaining ingredients, stir together then let sit until bottom starts to turn brown. Flip over sections of the salsa and brown on the other side. Set aside and cover loosely with foil to let steam out, but keep warm.

Apply canola oil to grill grates. Place patties on grill, leaving at least two inches between each one. Cover the grill and cook 6 minutes. Test the patties by sliding your spatula under them, if they release
Easily they are ready to turn. Turn, cover and cook another 5 to 7 minutes depending on how you like them done (6 is about medium).

Split buns and lightly brush on canola oil, rub with split garlic clove. When you turn burgers place split buns on grill for about 1 to 1 1/2 min. to get grill marks on bread.

To assemble, spread bottom half of bun with Aioli, place a lettuce leaf and tomato slice on top of Aiolo. Remove burgers from grill and place on top of tomato slice, immediately place a cheese slice on the burger. Top cheese with the salsa, be sure to get at least 3 plantain slices on each. Add a dollop of Aioli and put on the top of the bun.