Sonoran Burger with Cascabel Crema and Chorizo Hominy Salad

Pairs well with:


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

This burger incorporates a lot of really authentic Mexican ingredients and flavors, many of which are rarely seen in the U.S., such as Cascabel chilies, hominy, epazote, Oaxacan cheese, and Queso Fresco.They all come together to make a truly unique, and totally flavorful burger from our tastiest neighbor: Mexico!!


Cascabel Crema:

4 dried cascabel chilies, stem and seeds removed

1 cup water

1/2 cup thick Mexican crema

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, chopped

Chorizo Hominy Salad

3 ounces fresh chorizo, removed from casing

1/4 cup finely minced onion

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 1/4 cups canned hominy, drained and rinsed, chopped

1/2 cup diced avocado

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco

1/4 cup chopped cilantro sprigs, lightly packed


1 poblano chile

2 pounds ground chuck

1/4 cup finely minced onion

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried epazote leaves (can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves)

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

8 ounces Oaxacan cheese, pulled into strings

6 “country potato” hamburger buns, split (or regular good-quality potato hamburger buns)

2 cups blue corn tortilla chips


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.

To make Cascabel Crema, heat a small fireproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cascabel chilies and toast for 30 seconds, turning frequently. Add water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Let chilies soak in water for 20 minutes. Drain cascabel chilies; chop. In the bowl of a food processor, combine cascabel chilies, crema, mayonnaise, and garlic; puree.

To make Chorizo Hominy Salad, heat a large fireproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo and cook for 5-7 minutes, until browned. Transfer chorizo to a small bowl (leave rendered fat in skillet). Add onion and cook for 1 minute stirring occasionally. Add hominy and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to bowl with chorizo. When cool, add avocado, lime juice, Queso Fresco, and cilantro sprigs; mix until well combined.

To make the patties, add poblano chile to grill over medium-high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is thoroughly blackened on all sides. Transfer to a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap. After 10 minutes, remove the skin, stem, and seeds (discard); finely mince poblano chile. In a large mixing bowl combine minced poblano chile, beef, onion, garlic, cilantro, epazote, salt, and pepper. 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 buns.

Brush the grill rack with peanut oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, top the burgers with equal amounts of cheese and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of Cascabel Crema on the cut sides of buns. On each bun bottom, place a patty topped with cheese, a generous amount of Chorizo Hominy Salad, and a layer of blue corn tortilla chips. Add the bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.