Peruvian Peppadew Burgers With Aji Avocado Verde Sauce, and Peppadew Mango Salsa

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.

I once heard that Peru has the best Latin cuisine.This has inspired me to experiment with many popular Latin flavors over the years. Someday I would like to test this claim by working up an appetite climbing Machu Picchu and nibble my way through Peru.


Aji Avocado Verde Sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive oil

3 sweet cubanelle peppers

2 poblano peppers

1 Hass avocado halved, pitted, peeled and quartered

2 tablespoons lime juice

3/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon minced sweet onion

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Peppadew Mango Salsa

2 tablespoons drained, finely chopped peppadew peppers (about 7)

2 ripe mangoes peeled, sliced from stem and diced

2 teaspoons real maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1/16 teaspoon salt


2 pounds ground chuck

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons drained, finely chopped peppadews (about 15)

4 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce

2 tablespoons grated sweet onion

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack

6 Kaiser rolls, split

3 cups shredded crisp iceberg lettuce


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

To make the aji avocado sauce, brush the oil onto the cubanelles and poblanos. When the grill is ready place peppers on grill rack. Cook and turn them with tongs until charred on both sides, (10 – 12 minutes). Remove to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let steep for 10 minutes. Peel, stem and seed the Chile peppers. Place peppers, avocado, lime juice, cilantro, salt, sugar, onion and garlic in a blender. Pulse 15 seconds or until smooth. Check for lumps with a spoon and repeat if needed. Place in small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap with plastic touching sauce to keep air out. Set aside.

To make the peppadew mango salsa, combine the peppadews, mangos, maple syrup, cumin, shallots and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

To make the patties, combine the chuck, salt, peppadews, chipotle sauce, onion, and black pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the roll.

Brush the heated grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, Spread aji avocado sauce on each toasted side of roll bottoms. On each roll bottom, add equal amounts of lettuce, patty and salsa. Add roll tops and serve. Serves 6.