Tomatillo-Corn Salsa Burgers with Avocado-Poblano Cream

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.


4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup packed cilantro, chopped
3 Serrano chile’s, seeded and minced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground dried habanero chilies
1 teaspoon ground dried ancho chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 pounds ground chuck
2 poblano chilies
½ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup crema mexicano or sour cream
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 large avocado, sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
½ cup sweet red onion, chopped
½ cup packed cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
2 medium tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and chopped
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon cumin
12 slices thick-cut black pepper bacon
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
¾ pound Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
3 cups organic pre-washed bagged baby romaine lettuce
1 medium jicama, julienned



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 garlic, cilantro, chilies, salt, ground chilies and cumin in a large bowl. Add the ground chuck and handle as little as possible to combine ingredients. Shape into 6 equal size patties, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To prepare the avocado-poblano crema, when the grill is ready, place the chilies on the grill rack. Cover and cook, turning several times until roasted and charred on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the chilies from the grill and place in a plastic bag to sweat for about 10 minutes. Remove the stems, seeds and the charred skins from the chilies. Combine the roasted chilies, cilantro, crema, garlic, lime juice, avocado and salt in a food processor and pulse to form a paste. Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To make the tomatillo-corn salsa, melt the butter in a large fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the corn, stirring often and cook until the kernels are lightly roasted about 4 to 5 minutes. Place the corn in a medium bowl. Add the garlic, onion, cilantro, mint, tomatillos, chilies, honey, lime juice, salt and cumin. Mix all ingredients and set aside.

Heat a large fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Place on paper towels to drain. Wrap in foil to keep warm and set aside.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable. Place the patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, approximately 4 minutes per side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, place the cheese slices on each patty to melt.

To assemble the burgers, spread about 2 tablespoons of poblano-avocado crema on the cut side of each bun bottom. Follow with 1/2 cup of lettuce, an equal portion of jicama, a patty, 2 bacon slices and a liberal amount of tomatillo-corn salsa. Add the bun top and serve.