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Caribbean Burgers with Mango Salsa


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some for drizzling

  • 2 pounds ground chicken, pork or turkey breast

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice (half a palmful)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (eyeball it in your palm)

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon dried or ground thyme (1/3 palmful)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar

  • 5-6 leaves fresh basil or 2 tablespoons cilantro, your choice, chopped

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1/4 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch dice

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime

  • Cornmeal Kaiser rolls, split

  • Bibb lettuce leaves

  • Spicy specialty potato chips, any brand you like


Heat a large nonstick skillet with EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat.

Place meat of choice into a mixing bowl. Combine the dry spices and sugar in a small dish, then sprinkle evenly over the meat. Add fresh basil or cilantro, lots of salt and pepper to the meat. Mix the meat and spices and form four large patties. Make a divot in the center of the burger. As the burgers cook, the well will swell up and you’ll end up with a flat surface instead of the dreaded burger bulge. Cook the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning once.

While the burgers cook, make the mango salsa: in a small bowl, combine the mango, red pepper, jalapeño, cucumber and lime zest and juice. Season with salt, to taste.

Toast the buns lightly under a hot broiler.

When the burgers are done, transfer them to bun bottoms and top with Bibb lettuce, lots of salsa and bun tops. Serve burgers with a few chips alongside.