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Author Notes: First off, if you're going to make a meal made almost entirely out of meat, for heaven's sake please use the best meat you can find. I like a nice and simple burger with lots of flavorful toppings. This aioli packs a flavorful punch and the pickled onions compliment the burger perfectly. Top with some crunchy iceberg lettuce and slap in on a freshly baked bun and you've got a summer BBQ! - Katie Platzbecker —Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast
Food52 Review: This is a wonderful aioli full of great flavor. The honey tames the habanero and garlic, then the lime juice and zest brightens things up again. I opted for the whisk and bowl method for no other reason than that I had the time, but the recipe is super easy to follow. Wasn’t sure when to add the habanero so I tossed it in at the beginning. The pickled onions really finish the burger off perfectly -- what a nice touch. We loved it! - Helen's All Night Dinner —Helen's All Night Diner
For the Habanero Aioli:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large egg yolks (room temp)
- 1 handful of cilantro (remove stems)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 lime (juice)
- 1/2 lime (zest)
- 1 habanero
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- sea salt
- Turn on your broiler. Place habanero under broiler on a baking sheet until skin chars up (4-5 minutes). Remove, put in a paper bag or cover in a kitchen towel and let cool. Once cooled, remove the skin and seeds from the pepper. Wash your hands, or your eyes will be burning later!
- You can make this by hand or by using a food processor. I opt for my food processor. In the food processor, pulse together garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, cilantro, habanero, lime juice and zest. Add the egg yolks and pulse a few times so the mixture combines. Make sure your eggs are room temperature or it will be harder for them to bind to the oil.
- Whisk together the vegetable oil and olive oil in a separate bowl. With the food processor running, very slowly stream in the oil. When all of it is added, it should look like mayonnaise! Give it a little taste, and add some salt as necessary. Put it in the fridge until ready to assemble burgers.
For the Pickled Onions and Burgers
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 lime (juice)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 large white or red onion (sliced into thin strips)
- 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 pound grass-fed free range ground beef
- 4 fresh burger rolls (any kind you like)
- iceberg lettuce
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cheddar or Swiss cheese (optional)
- Make the onions a day or 2 ahead of time. I let them marinade in the juice for 48 hours to really soak up all the flavor.
- In a small sauce pan, bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, lime juice and peppercorns to a boil. Pour the liquid over the onions in a small mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate up to 48 hours before serving.
- Season your beef with some salt and pepper. That's it. Keep it simple. If your beef is high quality, let it shine. Mix it up a little bit with your hands, just enough to incorporate the salt and pepper into the meat.
- Heat your grill pan over medium-high to high heat. Break up the pound of beef into 4 equal parts and pat into 1/2 inch round patties.
- Throw the burgers on the grill, and cook for about 3 minutes on both sides (for medium doneness). Adjust time for desired doneness. If adding cheese, add for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Place burger on bun and top with some of that delicious spicy ailoi, pickled onions and iceberg lettuce.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili Pepper Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Use of Aioli
Meet Amanda Sims
Our Home and Design Editor who loves to cook—and pickle juice popsicles
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To refrigerate or not refrigerate?
We give it 8 tentacles up.