Great American Southwest sliders with prickly pear and griddled avocado salsa

Great American Southwest sliders with prickly pear and griddled avocado salsa
  • For the salsa
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsps tender cactus, diced (see note)
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh Roma tomato, seeded, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sliders
  • 900g 80 percent freshly minced chuck beef
  • 150g finely minced fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2/3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil, for griddle rack
  • 360g aged Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
  • 18 fresh bakery yeast rolls, about 6 1/2cm square, halved 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 griddle to 200C or heat an oiled griddle pan.

Salsa:
1) Slice the red onion into thick slices, about 1cm thick. Cut avocado in half and remove the pits. Griddle the onion and avocado halves on an oiled griddle until slightly charred.

2) Remove the onion to a cutting board and dice. Scoop avocado flesh into a bowl and add half of diced griddled red onion. Stir in the diced cactus, coriander, cumin and chipotle pepper sauce. Mash the mixture and mix well. Add the garlic, tomato and lime juice and combine well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Press clingfilm onto the surface of the salsa and cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sliders:
1) In a large bowl, combine the beef, chorizo, tortilla crisps, 2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and mix gently. Form into 18 golf ball-sized rounds, then flatten and shape into a size to fit the buns.

2) Oil the griddle and put the burgers on the griddle. Tent the burgers with foil or a hotel pan and squirt with water to create steam. Cook 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 griddle and close the lid until the cheese is melted and the rolls are toasted.

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.

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