Three Pepper Empanada Burgers

Pairs well with:

Chenin Blanc

This wine is bursting with crisp, refreshing fruit flavors like apple, pear, and melon, making you want to swing your legs off a dock at sunset.


2 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 small red pepper, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 small vidalia onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
20 green olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup mild green chiles, diced (4 oz. can)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Cilantro Slaw:
2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 fresh green cabbage, thinly sliced/shredded
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1/2 small red pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (Juice of 1 lime)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup cotija cheese crumbles
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Avocado Spread:
1 Hass avocado, pitted, skinned and roughly chopped
2 tsp. Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
1 cup cotija cheese crumbles
6 potato rolls/buns, split


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

To make the patties, combine the chuck, red pepper, jalapeno, vidalia onion, garlic, green olives, green chiles, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Shape into 6 patties to fit the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the cilantro slaw, combine the green cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, red pepper, lime juice, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the avocado spread, combine the avocado, Tabasco, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until consistency is smooth and pale-green in color. Transfer spread to small bowl, cover tightly and set aside.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble the burgers, spread the avocado spread over the cut sides of the bun tops. On each bun bottom, sprinkle with equal portions of cotija cheese crumbles, followed by patty and topped with equal portions of cilantro slaw. Add the bun tops and sink your teeth in!

Makes 6 Burgers