Too Sexy for my Bun… A Jerk-marinated beef burger with creamy crab topping

Pairs well with:


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

I heard this song one day on the radio and it made me think about Cuban-Caribbean inspired food – something with heat that would be complemented by the coolness of a creamy crab.


Jerk marinade:
1 cup onion
3 de Arbol or habanero chillies
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon thyme
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace

2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
2/3 cup minced shallot
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup jerk marinate

Creamy crab spread:
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoons Chesapeake Bay seasoning
1 teaspooon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
3 tablespoons crème fraiche
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
3/4 jumbo lump crabmeat

Colavita extra virgin olive oil
6 large leaves of butter lettuce or red leaf lettuce
6 slices of heirloom tomatoes
6 large Kaiser rolls or potato buns
Fresh chive, chopped into half inch pieces


1) Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.
2) Prepare marinade by placing all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed. Set aside 1/2 cup of marinade for the burgers.
3) In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients: ground chuck, shallots, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of marinade reserved for the burger. Mix gently and form into 6 patties. Place into a shallow baking dish and pour remaining jerk marinade over the patties. Allow to marinate 15-20 minutes and turn burgers over. Marinate for another 15 – 20 minutes. Do not marinate more than 45 minutes as the acids will start to break down the protein in the burger.
4) Sauté shallots in olive oil in a sauté or frying pan over medium-high grill for about 6 minutes until golden brown and limp. Remove from heat and add Chesapeake Bay seasoning, thyme, Tabasco, crème fraiche, mayonnaise, and Asiago. Stir to combine and return to the grill for a couple minutes if needed to melt cheese. Remove from heat add Sauvignon Blanc and fold in crabmeat. Set aside until burgers are ready – reheat for a couple minutes right before serving. An additional tablespoon or two of Sauvignon Blanc can be added if necessary to make a creamy spread.
5) Brush grill with Colavita olive oil. Cook burgers over medium high grill for about 5 minutes per side. Remove and cover with a foil tent.
6) Toast buns and reheat crab as needed.
7) Assemble burgers: bun, lettuce, tomato, burger, crab spread, chopped chives, and set the top half of the bun askew or tilted.