Garlicky BBQ Bacon Burgers with Spinach on Top and Smoky-Cream Corn on the Cob


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced to a paste
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 4 ears of corn on the cob, husked
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (a palmful)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
  • 2 tablespoons steak seasoning, such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning (a couple of palmfuls)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (2/3 palmful)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 4 Kaiser rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 pound spinach, stemmed
  • 1/2 pound queso fresco, asadero cheese or other white, mild cheese, grated
  • 2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
  • A handful of cilantro or flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped


Pre-heat an outdoor grill to medium heat or grill pan over medium-high heat.

Place a small saucepot over medium heat and add heavy cream, chipotle paste and lime zest. Bring up to a simmer and season with salt. Turn the heat down to low and cook for about 10 minutes.

While cream is heating through, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of EVOO. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until crispy. Remove the bacon from pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate; drain all but a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet.

Still working over medium-high heat, add the red onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and the juice of 1 lime, stir for a minute, then add the tomato sauce and bring up to a simmer. Season the barbecue sauce with salt and pepper and reduce for 10 minutes.

While the sauces are simmering, run husked corn under cold water to wet down.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground meat with cumin, chili powder, steak seasoning, coriander and garlic for the burgers. Divide the meat into four large 1-inch thick patties; make a shallow indent at the centers to prevent the burgers from bulging as they cook. Coat the patties with EVOO.

Place the corn and the patties on the grill. If you are using a grill pan and the patties and corn will not fit at the same time, char the corn on all sides under a hot broiler instead.

Grill the burgers for 10 minutes, turning once, for medium doneness. Baste them with some of the barbecue sauce the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Before the burgers and corn are ready to come off the grill, place a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add one turn of the pan EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for about 1 minute, or until barely wilted.

Place each burger on a Kaiser roll and top them with barbecue sauce, bacon slices and spinach. Remove the corn from the grill pan and place on a serving platter. Pour the chipotle-cream mixture over the top and sprinkle with the cheese. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro.

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