Recipe courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson

Cuz's Fish Burgers with Bajan Mayo

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I've been obsessed with burgers since my first visit to the United States, and I look for them everywhere. This one, a fish burger with cheese and egg, is my current favorite. Every time I make it, I'm transported back to Barbados --- to Cuz's stand in the parking lot between my hotel and the beach where I first had this. There was a line out the door, as people waited while the guy griddled his daily catch and slapped the fillets onto a bun with a piece of cheese and an egg. So fresh. So delicious. I took my fish burger out to the beach and ate it there. And went back the next day for another.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 30 min (includes pickling and chilling times)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

For the Bajan Mayo:

For the Glaze:

For the Burgers:

Pickled Cabbage:

Directions

  1. Make the Bajan Mayo: Whisk the egg yolk, salt, mustard, and sugar together in a glass bowl. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and Tabasco in a measuring cup.
  2. Whisk half the liquid into the yolk. Then begin whisking in the oil, a few drops at a time, until the mayo begins to emulsify. Continue whisking in the oil -- you can add it more quickly now -- until the mayo is very thick. Add the rest of the liquid and whisk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate. It will keep for about 1 week.
  3. Make the Glaze: Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Make the Burgers: Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat.
  5. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Spoon the vegetable oil into the hot pan. Add the fish, brush the top with the glaze, and sear for 3 minutes. Turn the fish over, paint it with glaze, and sear until the fish feels firm when you prod it, about 3 minutes.
  6. To assemble the burgers, spread a thin layer of the Bajan mayo on both sides of the buns. To each, add a cooked fillet, a slice of Cheddar cheese, a piece of tomato, a slice of onion, a lettuce leaf, and a tablespoon or so of the pickled cabbage. Top with an over-easy egg if desired.

Pickled Cabbage:

  1. Bring the vinegar, lime juice, water, sugar, bay leaf, garlic, pepper, and thyme to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and pour the boiling pickling solution over it. Cover with plastic and set a plate on top to keep the cabbage submerged. Let sit for 2 hours. Pack into 1-pint jars and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. The cabbage will keep for up to 1 month. Makes about 10 cups.

Cook’s Note

You can whip this pickle up in a matter of minutes on a Sunday afternoon and reap great rewards. It keeps for weeks in the fridge, and you can serve it with almost any casual dish -- hot dogs and burgers, rotisserie chicken, a fried fish -- any time you want vibrant red cabbage pickled with not just vinegar but lime juice, too, for layers of flavor. And then there's the little bit of heat that sneaks in from the Scotch bonnet pepper. The more I talk about it, the more my mouth waters! I always have jars of this stuff in my fridge -- small jars; they keep better that way.

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