Great American Southwest Sliders with Prickly Pear and Grilled Avocado Salsa
- 1 small red onion
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 tablespoons tender cactus, diced (see note)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 fresh Roma tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds 80 percent fresh ground chuck
- 5 ounces finely ground fresh Mexican chorizo
- 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Oil, for grill rack
- 12 ounces aged Monterey jack cheese, sliced
- 18 fresh bakery yeast rolls, about 2 1/2-inches square, cut in 1/2 horizontally
- 1 cup crema Mexicana, for garnish
- Chipotle pepper sauce
- 6 ripe prickly pears, hollowed, for garnish
- Fried tortilla strips, for garnish
Heat an oiled grill to 400 degrees F or heat an oiled grill pan.
For the salsa:
Slice the red onion into thick slices, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut avocado in half and remove the pits. Grill the onion and avocado halves on an oiled grill until slightly charred. Remove the onion to a cutting board and dice. Scoop avocado flesh into a bowl and add 1/2 cup of diced grilled red onion. Stir in the diced cactus, cilantro, cumin and chipotle pepper sauce. Mash the mixture and mix well. Add the garlic, tomato and lime juice and combine well. Season with kosher salt and pepper, to taste. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the salsa and cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the sliders:
In a large bowl, combine the beef, chorizo, tortilla chips, 2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and mix gently. Form into 18 golf ball-size rounds, then flatten and shape into a size to fit the buns.
Oil the grill and put the burgers on the grill. Tent the burgers with foil or a hotel pan and squirt with water to create steam. Grill the burgers until desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. After turning, divide the slices of Monterey jack among the burgers. Put the rolls on the grill and close the lid until the cheese is melted and the rolls are toasted.
For the crema:
In a small bowl, whisk together the crema and chipotle hot sauce, to taste.
Put the burgers on the roll bottoms and top with salsa and crema. Cover with the roll tops. Stuff the prickly pears with tortilla strips and serve alongside the sliders.
Note: Prickly pear cactus is available in jars in the Mexican food section of the supermarket.
A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs cannot make representation as to the results.