Hot Mess Cozumel Burger

This burger is a combination of the Baja Sandwich and Nirvana Burger I had put on a menu many moons ago.

This was my tribute to the band. Unfortunately, the Baja Chicken Sandwich was not part of NBM (national burger month) so, I don’t have a pic of it. Luckily, this particular restaurant is still using most of the menu I wrote and the Baja is running strong, as always.
I was given 3 days to come up with an award winning menu for a restaurant that was going to be in a 100 year old building that was then in the process of renovations. I was asked by one of the shareholders if I was sure I wanted to name it the Baja because Baja reminded this particular guy of the desert. My response was,….I’m positive 🤨. Blue chicken was initially Blue Chick, but was obviously changed after I left. There was also a Hot Chick which was changed to Buffalo chicken. The Mr. Roger’s was my tribute to Fred Roger’s and a great item to put on my menu for my vegetarian customers. I wanted everyone to be able to come and enjoy my food, not just meat eaters.
The double is self-explanatory as well as the Amigo (the name just fit when I put this together in my head). I came up with the Tilula as a result of my love for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. I was thinking about the way the girls always scream “Towanda!!!” But, I didn’t want to copy the movie, so I thought, hmmm Tilula is a great southern name and would have fit perfectly in that movie. And there’s Big John. What do you think of when you hear about the story of Big John? Big….so I made this my big meaty-cheesy burger. Then of course there were the Scotch Eggs that took my staff and I a good while to figure out how to cook these all the way through in high temp deep fryers and the Witch Doctor Wings that were also a pain until we started baking them off first, GST Club etc. Most of my creations are still there so I guess it’s something to be proud of when I drive by and see the place packed. I can think, thats MY menu. I did that when so many people thought I couldn’t. Of course, I’ve written other bar menus and tasting menus, but this place put 3 other restaurants next door out of business and yet mine still stands strong. And to think, before I got ahold of that menu, they were planning to do Tapas in that place that would have surely closed down along with the steak house it was copied from. (Pat on the back) lol.

Now, onward and outward. Back to the burger. I hope you like this beast because it’s amazing!

1 lb 80/20 ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

4 yellow onions, peeled and thin sliced

1 tbs oil

4 Hawaiian burger buns

3 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled

2 tsp lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

2 lg roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cilantro, rough chopped

2 tbs yellow onion, peeled and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c brown sugar

1 tbs water

4 pineapple rings

8 slices peppered bacon

4 eggs

8 slices pepper-jack cheese

Start off by making your 1/4 lb burger patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Transfer to plate, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour to set up.

Meanwhile, add the onions and oil to a nonstick pan over high heat. Once the onions start sizzling, reduce heat to medium high. Stir the onions periodically, adding 1 tbs of water as needed to prevent the onions from drying out. Cook onions until caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside.

While the onions are cooking, toast your buns by spraying cut sides with nonstick spray and sear on the flat top or in a non stick pan. Set aside. Place the avocados in a bowl and combine with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Smash up with a whisk or fork. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Make the pico by combining the tomato, cilantro and onions in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Time to get the pineapple rings going. Preheat the broiler. Add brown sugar and water to a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until the sugar completely dissolves. Arrange the pineapple rings on a lined sheet pan. Brush both sides of the rings with the brown sugar glaze. Broil for about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the pineapples. Brush on more glaze. Broil for another 3-5 minutes or until the sugar thickens on the rings. Remove from oven and set aside.

Get the bacon going while the pineapples are broiling. Cook on a flat top or in a nonstick pan. Cook to desired donness. Remove from pan and fry up your eggs in the same pan. This is going to be tailored completely to your own personal taste. I like mine over easy, but there are always risk factors involved with undercooked foods. So, Cook to your own personal preference. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cook up your burgers on the flat top or nonstick pan. Cook these up to your desired donness and add 2 slices of pepper-jack to each burger. Cover with a hood (pizza pan, lid, or stainless steel bowl). Add a tiny squirt of water to add steam and let the cheese melt.

Now we can assemble. Open your buns and start off by layering with the patties, 2 slices of bacon each, 1 egg each, about 2 tbs of onions, 1 pineapple ring, avocado and finish it off with pico and the top bun. There you go, my Cozumel burger.

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