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Surf and Turf Burgers- Ancho Chile Spiced Beef Burgers with Crab-Avocado Salad and Butter Lettuce

Having spent time on both the west and east coasts, this burger combines flavors from my southern California upbringing with the delicious seafood we used to get on our vacations in New England. These are some of my favorite flavors and making this burger brings back lots of great memories.


2 lbs freshly ground beef chuck
4 tsp dried ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Crab-Avo Salad:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked lump crab meat
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 hass avocados, peeled & diced
2 T fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
olive oil for brushing grill rack
1 stick softened sweet butter
6 large egg
hamburger rolls
12 leaves butter lettuce


To make the patties, combine the beef, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt and 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 into patties. Cover and chill for approximately 1 hour to allow the chile flavor to develop (about 30 mins prior to grilling, remove the chilled patties from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before cooking). Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the crab-avo salad, combine the lime juice, mayo, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Gently fold in the crab meat, red onion, avocados and cilantro to combine. Cover and chill. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with olive oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of grilling, spread approximately 1 tsp of butter on each roll half and place the rolls on the outer edges of the rack and toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place a patty on the bottom roll and top with an equal portion of the crab-avo salad. Place 2 leaves of butter lettuce on top and add the roll tops. Serve immediately.