“Stuffed, Rubbed, & Mucho Loved Hamburguesas” a.k.a. Queso Fresco Stuffed Espresso-Rubbed Beef Burgers with Rustic Avocado Chutney

Pairs well with:


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


Rustic Avocado Chutney
1 large ear fresh sweet yellow corn
2 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 jalapeno peppers
4 slices thick-cut black peppered bacon, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
3 medium tomatillos (about 1 1/2-inch in diameter), husked, cored, and finely diced
1 medium Haas avocado, diced
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spice Rub
1 tablespoon ground espresso beans (not instant)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck
1 link fresh chorizo, casing removed, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated yellow onion
1/3 cup sweet red pepper from jar, drained, patted dry, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup Sutter Home Zinfandel
2 tablespoons quick cooking oats
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2-ounces queso fresco (about 6 tablespoons)

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 best-quality potato hamburger buns, split
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup crema agria (or best quality sour cream)


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the chutney, husk and clean the corn; brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When grill is ready, place corn directly over the hottest part of the grill. Grill the corn, turning as needed, until charred in some areas, about 8 minutes. Cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife and place into a medium mixing bowl. Grill the jalapenos until charred, about 5-7 minutes. Stem, seed, and finely dice the jalapeno; set aside. Next, heat a medium, heavy nonstick fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Drain off the bacon fat from the skillet, wipe out the skillet with paper toweling, and place the skillet back on the grill or side burner of grill. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and add onion, garlic, and jalapeno; cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatillos and cook until softened. Transfer to bowl with corn. Add avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and black pepper and toss to combine; set aside.

To make spice rub, in a small bowl combine ground espresso beans, black pepper, cocoa powder, chipotle pepper, coriander, and salt and mix well to incorporate all ingredients; set aside.

To make the patties, place the ground beef chuck, in a large bowl. Add the chorizo, onion, sweet red pepper, garlic, Sutter Home Zinfandel, oats, salt and pepper; combine, handling as little as possible. To make 6 patties, divide mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each into 1/2-inch thick patties to fit bun size. Evenly divide (about 1 tablespoon) queso fresco to within 1/2-inch of edge of 6 patties; top with remaining patties, pressing to seal the two halves together. Alternately, divide hamburger mixture into 6 portions, enclosing about 1 tablespoon of queso fresco into center, and form the patties into portions to fit the rolls. Sprinkle each patty with about 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture (about 1/2 teaspoon per side) and pat to adhere.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once until done to preference, about 5-7 minutes minutes per side for medium. Brush the cut sides of buns with butter (about 1/2 teaspoon per cut side) and grill, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill until nicely browned and well toasted, during last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, equally divide crema agria on each bun bottom (about 1 scant tablespoon). Next, top each bottom with a grilled patty and equal portions of the avocado salad (about 1/4 cup per burger). Add the bun tops and serve. Buen Provecho!!