Grilled Cheeseburgers with Caramelized Onion and Jalapeño Salsa and Roasted Red Pepper Mayo

Burgers with caramelized onions, jalapeno seasoning and red pepper mayonnaise Recipe

The best thing about traveling is getting a chance to enjoy other cuisines from around the world.

We discovered the best of both world’s when we found a little restaurant serving American Cuisine with a Mexican twist.

queso oaxaca mexican cheese

Oxaca Cheese Photo Credit, Gourmet Sleuth, 2015

Talk about flavors! These grilled cheeseburgers with caramelized onions and jalapenos dressed with a roasted red pepper mayonnaise and salsa really hit the spot. This is not your ordinary cheeseburger.The ground sirloin, the ground beef and  chorizo sausage meat mixture creates a juicy hamburger filled with such flavor that is so richly deserved.  And the flavors are intensified with the addition of  Mexican Oxaca cheese, a rich buttery and slightly salty mild semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk, similar to unaged  Monterey Jack, but with a mozzarella-like string cheese texture. It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made. Chef Rick Bayless has an excellent tutorial for any one who may be interested in making Oxaca Cheese in their home kitchens. (Just click on the link here for Oxaca homemade cheese).

And just a note on the adobo seasoning,  You will find the recipe below. I usually make my own and it is a staple in my pantry. It’s great on almost anything. You can use it as a spice rub, in soups and sauces or mix with a liquid to make a marinade. Homemade adobe has a better flavor than most of the commercially available brands that you can find in your local supermarkets.

I hope that you will enjoy this offering as much as we did while on vacation, as well recreating when returned home for our family and friends at the house.

For the Adobo Seasoning:
Makes About 1/3 Cup
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder (or flakes)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
1 Tablespoon achiote powder
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon salt

Combine the spices in a small glass jar and seal with an airtight lid. Store the  jar, in a cool  dry place. It will keep for up to 6 months.

For the Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise:
2  medium-sized  roasted  jarred red peppers, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper freshly ground, to taste

For the Burgers:
3/4 pound of ground sirloin
3/4 pound ground beef shoulder
1/2 Mexican chorizo sausage, raw, casing removed
1 large yellow onion, grated
1 Tablespoon of Adobo Seasoning
1/2 cup of  bread crumbs
6 slices of Oaxaca or Mozzarella cheese

For the Salsa:

2 T ablespoons of olive oil
2 large yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
Back pepper freshly ground, to taste
1/2 cup of bottled jalapeño slices, drained
1/2 cup dark brown sugar

6 hamburger buns, for serving

To make the red pepper mayonnaise,  add the red peppers to  a blender or food processor. Add the mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavor by adding the salt pepper. Transfer  the mixture into a glass container, cover and refrigerate for  at least 4 hours or overnight preferably, for the best flavors.

To prepare  the burgers,combine ground sirloin, the ground beef shoulder, the chorizo, onion, the adobo seasoning and the breadcrumbs  in a large bowl and gently mix until the meat mixture is well combine. Make 6 well shaped patties and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, side by side in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This step is crucial because it helps the burgers to firm up before cooking.

To make the salsa, heat the oil in a  cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Add the brown sugar and jalapeños. Cook for about 10 to 15  minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions and jalapenos are caramelized and tender. Transfer to a bowl; set aside to cool.

To cook the burgers,  make sure the grill is rack has been brushed and is  well cleaned. Brush  the rack with the oil. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place the patties on the grill and cover with the grill lid. Cook for  for 15 to 20 minutes. Since they contain raw chorizo,  make sure that you are flipping the burgers every 5 minutes. Check the burgers to see that they are cooked and feel firm when it is depressed  in the center with your finger. Continue to grill them for 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the fire as needed, until they are thoroughly cooked. During the last few minutes, put a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Close the grill to allow the cheese to melt, for about a minute or two.

Separate the buns and  lightly brush them with oil and toast on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes to get a light char. Remove from the grill and set aside.

To serve, spread about 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise on both sides the grilled side bread. Place a burger on top  of the bottom bun and spoon  1 to 2 teaspoons of salsa on top of the burger, Close the sandwich and serve hot with yucca fries or plantain chips.

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