Monterey Crab Sauced Burgers with Sweet Grilled Cumin Onions and Avocado Lime Mayo

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.


1/3 cup fresh avocado, chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Mexican crema
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2 pounds ground chuck
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large sweet onions, peeled & thinly sliced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Monterey Crab Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small jalapeno; ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh crab meat, picked over for shells

Vegetable oil for brushing on grill rack
6 good quality plain hamburger rolls, split


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

To prepare mayo, place avocado in small bowl, and mash with back of fork. Mix in mayonnaise, crema, lime juice, and cilantro until well combined. Cover and set aside or place in refrigerator until ready to assemble burgers.

Combine ground chuck, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, lime zest, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in large mixing bowl until just combined. Form into 6 patties to fit rolls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to cook.

Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to large fire-proof skillet (or disposable aluminum pan) and place on grill rack over medium-high heat. Add onions, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper to skillet, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes or until fork tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and keep warm.

Place a small fire-proof saucepan over medium-high heat on grill. Add 2 tablespoons butter and jalapeno. When butter is melted, whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook constantly until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Whisk in cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Once smooth, stir in crab meat and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Remove pan from heat, and keep warm.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook until done to preference, about 4-6 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly.
To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the mayo over the cut sides of the bottom half of rolls. Then top with onions, then a burger patty. Spoon crab sauce onto patty then cover with roll tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers