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Island Burgers with Red Pepper-Mango Sauce

My family has been lucky enough to spend some time in the islands. Throughout the years, I have developed a taste for tropical flavors abundant in many island retreats. I decided to add these flavors to one of my favorite foods, burgers. The subtle hint of coconut and cashews add a unique flavor that compliment the red pepper-mango sauce well. Alone they are equally good, together they make a rather tasty burger.


Red Pepper-Mango Sauce
1 cup red bell pepper
1 cup diced peeled mango
1/2 teaspoon chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
5 tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
5 tablespoons chopped whole salted cashews
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
2 teaspoons salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing on grill rack
6 white hamburger buns, split
6 romaine lettuce leaf tops, cut to fit size of bun


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat. To make the sauce, combine red bell pepper, mango and jalapeno in a food processor; process until almost smooth. Combine water, sugar, red wine vinegar, and salt in a small sauce pan. Cook on the grill over medium-high heat, until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add pureed pepper mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 7 – 10 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice, cover and keep warm. Set aside. To make the patties, place panko, coconut, cashews, and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until the cashews are finely chopped. Combine the panko mixture, ground beef, salt and remaining teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form portions into patties to fit the buns. Prepare grill by brushing rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until the patties are cooked to desired degree of doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last two minutes of cooking, place buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of grill rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread ½ tablespoon of the red pepper sauce on each bun bottom. Top each with a patty, 2 tablespoons of additional sauce, and a lettuce leaf. Add the bun top and serve. Makes 6 burgers


The red pepper-mango sauce is so tasty, serve any extras on the side for dipping the burgers.