Cuban Hamburger & Portabella Mushroom

Many people here in the blogisphere don’t know that I’m the first generation of my family that was born in the United States of America. My family all comes from Cuba, an island just south of Florida, one of the largest in Caribbean. Cubans eat foods that most Americans are not familiar with. When I first started dating my soon-to-be husband, he had never heard of a plantain, rabo encendido, yuca, or some of the other dishes that are now some of his favorites.

One dish that I started making quite frequently in our home was the Cuban hamburger, aka Frita. I tried it the first time, hoping that it would be similar enough to a hamburger that he wouldn’t mind the extra flavor. He LOVED it and it has since become a treat for us. The only problem is that since becoming diabetic, I can’t eat it the way it’s meant to be eaten – on a white bun with shoestring potatoes on top. I had to modify it.

So one day, I came up with the idea to put my frita on a portabella mushroom cap and top it with sweet potato crispies instead of shoestring potatoes. Do you know what? It was delicious! I still gave my fiance his on a regular bun, because he can eat it that way, and this is a treat for him {a digression from our usual healthy food}.

Frita

So here it is – the recipe for my cuban frita.

Traditionally, this is made with chorizo, but I use mild Italian sausage instead.

For the Frita – Makes 4 burgers:

1 lb lean ground beef

1/2 lb mild Italian sausage

1 small onion or half a regular onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 egg

about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I used 2 tablespoons of flax seed)

1 dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 dash of soy sauce

1 dash of hot sauce

salt and pepper

For the Mushroom:

1 portabella cap per burger

For the crispies:

1 small sweet potato

The Process:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

2. Clean the gills off of your mushrooms and rub them with a little bit of olive oil. Place on a grilling rack in the oven and let them cook for about 10 minutes. You can flip it half way through if you feel the need.

3. Using a mandolin and steel glove, julienne your sweet potatoes so they are nice and skinny. Drizzle them with olive oil and place them in the oven along side your mushrooms. Keep an eye on these as they will burn easily.

4. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for your fritas. Combine the meat with your hands and form patties whatever size you would like. Set aside.

5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and drizzle just about a tablespoon of olive oil. Allow the oil to heat. Once at the desired temperature, place your patties in the pan. Allow the patties to brown on one side before flipping them. These are fragile burgers and allowing them to cook will help them to not fall apart. Cook to the desired temperature. I make ours well done.

6. Assemble your burger on the portabella mushroom cap with some sweet potatoes on top and you have yourself one delicious meal!

Happy Cooking!

 

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