Home Local Flavors: Arizona Burger

Local Flavors: Arizona Burger

by Brad Prose
Arizona Burger
savory, melty, crispy and cool

Blended Burger Project: Home Edition

This Arizona Burger was created for the burger contest hosted by the Mushroom Council
(yes they exist, ruling over our mushroom kingdom) & Bon Appétit. The main rule was to incorporate at least 25% of the burger to have mushrooms as an ingredient. As if I really need a reason to create a spicy burger and top it with cheese and chorizo, c’mon! Well the contest certainly helped spur along my creativity.

It’s important to make one thing pretty clear: I underestimated the flavor benefits of mushrooms in a burger. Seriously. Challenge me if you dare! This project has definitely opened my eyes to the fact that mushrooms pack a punch of umami and should be in more burgers. I’ll definitely be using them in the future.

I wanted to make sure I represented Arizona as much as possible, pulling from some of our favorite flavors. Naturally we are a Mexican food-heavy state so you’ll quickly recognize my obvious tie-ins:

  • Carne Asada – I wanted the overall meat to remind me of my favorite tacos. The cilantro-lime crema was the acid that you’d normally marinade the meat with, and minimal spices.
  • Nopales – These have a great texture and earthiness when charred, resembling grilled okra or green beans. The texture is also similar to mushrooms so I felt it was a natural combo. Chorizo pairs extremely well with mushrooms and nopales.
  • Muenster cheese – This is not an authentic choice, but I am also not claiming tradition here. Seriously, it’s a burger. This cheese has a profile that reminds me of queso Oaxaca but in slice-form, holding all of the crispy bits in place. It melts so easily that I had to re-shoot the above photo a few times to make sure the burger patty wasn’t completely covered.

OK OK enough man-splaining. Here’s the burger. Enjoy!

Arizona Burger

Category, DifficultyIntermediate

This Arizona burger is packed with umami, textures and spice from the southwest. The recipe makes 4 huge burgers. Good luck not eating two!

Blended Burger
 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
 1 shallot (minced)
 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
 ½ lb shiitake mushrooms (finely minced by hand or food processor, about 8 mushrooms)
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp Mexican oregano
 1 ½ lbs ground brisket (or 80/20 ground beef)
 1 tsp kosher salt
Cilantro-Lime Crema
 ½ cup Mexican crema
  cup cilantro leaves (finely chopped, more to taste)
 2 tsp fresh lime juice
Toppings
 ½ lb red pork chorizo (homemade or store bought)
 2 cactus paddles (nopales)
 2 tsp grapeseed oil
 2 tsp kosher salt
 4 slices of Muenster cheese
 4 Potato Rolls

Preparing the Blended Mix
1

Start by heating a stainless pan to med-low heat. Once warm melt the butter and cook the shallots until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add in the mushrooms, stir frequently over the next 6-8 minutes. The mushrooms will release their liquid and start to caramelize. Make sure you keep stirring to prevent them from sticking to pan.

2

Let the mushroom mixture cool completely, and add to ground beef along with other ingredients. I recommend cooking a sample to make sure it's seasoned to your taste. Divide into 4 patties and refrigerate until ready.

Cilantro-Lime Crema
3

Mix ingredients together and set aside.

Preparing the Toppings
4

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Lightly oil & salt the cactus paddles (nopales) and place in heated skillet for 5-6 minutes for each side, allowing the cactus to char slightly. Depending on the thickness and size you may need to flip 1-2 more times. You want to get rid of the slime. Set aside, and cut into 1/4" strips.

5

Using the same skillet, cook the chorizo until almost crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Add in the cactus strips to incorporate and continue to cook until the chorizo is slightly crispy. You want to make sure there's some texture as you'll be adding it on the melted cheese. Set aside.

Prepping the Buns
6

Toast the buns in the skillet while there's still chorizo drippings! Once toasted, remove and add the Cilantro-Lime Crema to each bun.

Cooking the Blended Burger
7

Wipe the skillet clean to make sure there's not too much excess grease. Place your burger patties in the hot skillet and do not press down or touch them for about 3-4 minutes. You will see the bottom starting to form a crust. Flip and repeat on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Flip one more time, add your cheese slice and cover with a lid/dome to melt the cheese. *Muenster is highly recommended as it's a melty-cheese, and holds the chorizo mix in place.

8

Place the Blended Burger on the bun, top with chorizo & cactus and you're ready! EAT!

 

Ingredients

Blended Burger
 2 tbsp grass-fed butter
 1 shallot (minced)
 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
 ½ lb shiitake mushrooms (finely minced by hand or food processor, about 8 mushrooms)
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp Mexican oregano
 1 ½ lbs ground brisket (or 80/20 ground beef)
 1 tsp kosher salt
Cilantro-Lime Crema
 ½ cup Mexican crema
  cup cilantro leaves (finely chopped, more to taste)
 2 tsp fresh lime juice
Toppings
 ½ lb red pork chorizo (homemade or store bought)
 2 cactus paddles (nopales)
 2 tsp grapeseed oil
 2 tsp kosher salt
 4 slices of Muenster cheese
 4 Potato Rolls

Directions

Preparing the Blended Mix
1

Start by heating a stainless pan to med-low heat. Once warm melt the butter and cook the shallots until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add in the mushrooms, stir frequently over the next 6-8 minutes. The mushrooms will release their liquid and start to caramelize. Make sure you keep stirring to prevent them from sticking to pan.

2

Let the mushroom mixture cool completely, and add to ground beef along with other ingredients. I recommend cooking a sample to make sure it's seasoned to your taste. Divide into 4 patties and refrigerate until ready.

Cilantro-Lime Crema
3

Mix ingredients together and set aside.

Preparing the Toppings
4

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Lightly oil & salt the cactus paddles (nopales) and place in heated skillet for 5-6 minutes for each side, allowing the cactus to char slightly. Depending on the thickness and size you may need to flip 1-2 more times. You want to get rid of the slime. Set aside, and cut into 1/4" strips.

5

Using the same skillet, cook the chorizo until almost crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Add in the cactus strips to incorporate and continue to cook until the chorizo is slightly crispy. You want to make sure there's some texture as you'll be adding it on the melted cheese. Set aside.

Prepping the Buns
6

Toast the buns in the skillet while there's still chorizo drippings! Once toasted, remove and add the Cilantro-Lime Crema to each bun.

Cooking the Blended Burger
7

Wipe the skillet clean to make sure there's not too much excess grease. Place your burger patties in the hot skillet and do not press down or touch them for about 3-4 minutes. You will see the bottom starting to form a crust. Flip and repeat on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Flip one more time, add your cheese slice and cover with a lid/dome to melt the cheese. *Muenster is highly recommended as it's a melty-cheese, and holds the chorizo mix in place.

8

Place the Blended Burger on the bun, top with chorizo & cactus and you're ready! EAT!

Arizona Burger

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