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Playing 'What’s your Poblano?' Carne Asada Burger


For the marinade
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons puréed chipotle in Adobo sauce (for a medium to spicy heat level)
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
For the burgers
  • 2 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
  • 3 scallions, whites and light greens finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a scant palmful) each pimentòn (smoked sweet paprika), cumin and Mexican oregano
  • A small handful cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 slices Pepper Jack cheese
  • 6 slices white American or mild deli-sliced white cheddar cheese
  • 6 burger buns, sesame seed or plain, halved
  • Gem romaine or leaf lettuce leaves
  • Thinly sliced red onions dressed with lime juice, salt and pepper
For the Charred Salsa Verde
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds tomatillos, peeled
  • 1 white onion, cut into thick slices or wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and cracked
  • 2 jalapeño peppers or 3 serrano peppers
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon (about 1/3 palmful) ground cumin
  • A handful cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons honey or light agave
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Rajas in Avo-Crema
  • 4 large poblanos
  • 1 avocado, halved and pitted
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt, to taste


Serves: 6


In a shallow dish, combine marinade ingredients.

In a bowl, combine beef with scallions, garlic, dried spices, cilantro or parsley, salt and pepper. Form 6 patties that are thinner at the center for even cooking. Place patties in marinade, turn to coat then refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat broiler or prepare a grill to medium-high.

For the salsa, arrange the tomatillos, onions, garlic and peppers on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with oven spray and season with salt and pepper. Place under broiler to char then transfer everything to a food processor (Keep broiler or grill hot.). Add cumin, cilantro, honey and lime juice, and purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Rajas, grill or broil the poblanos to char evenly all over. Place in a covered bowl to cool. Peel and halve the peppers lengthwise then thinly slice from top to bottom.

Purée avocado in a food processor with lime juice and zest, crema or sour cream, garlic and salt; transfer to a medium bowl. Add roasted poblanos and stir to coat and combine.

To cook the burgers, heat a grill, cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Cook patties 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally and top with a slice of each cheese in the last minute of cooking time.

To build burgers, slather bun bottoms with charred salsa then lettuce, red onions, cheeseburger patty, poblanos in avocado cream sauce and the bun tops.

Serve burgers with grilled corn with garlic butter and lime juice, and pass Chipotle Tabasco at the table for the corn. Fiesta!


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