After reviewing some of the photos that many of you pin from my website, I noticed that the Cuban burger gets tagged quiet a bit, and there is no wonder why. After all, it is everything you want in a great Cuban sandwich but done in a burger kind of way. That got me thinking, and after some years ago, I recall a food show where they highlighted some street food from Cuba, or Florida (I forget) that everyone was after. It was a Cuban style burger but loaded with crispy potato fries. This was right up my alley. Before I left for work, I quickly looked through my pantry and noticed that I had some shoestring potatoes that the kids had yet devoured, and that really set the trigger to make burgers that evening.
Now this is just not any burger. This is know as the Cuban Frita, or at least my version of the Cuban Frita. It looks like a burger. Well, it is, but the ingredients that go inside make this one unique, along with the crispy shoestring potatoes.
I knew this was going to be a homerun with my oldest son. He’s the dude who likes crunchy chips on his sandwiches. Yes, he is the one who eats the ham off of his plain sub sandwich, then loads the sandwich up with Doritos or whatever chips he has, and makes a chip sandwich! What I did not realize is that he was off to a baseball game with a buddy the night I was making these Cuban Frita’s and therefore I was left to try to sell these to my other kids and my wife. It wasn’t a hard sell.
Let’s get started.
- Small hamburger buns, slider size, sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs of ground chuck
- 2 small shallots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp Spanish paprika
- 4 oz Pik-Nik Shoestring Potatoes
- American cheese slices, optional
- pickles, optional
Start by adding the oil to a skillet. Bring it to a medium heat, then toss in the shallot and garlic. Cook this just until it sweats, about 4 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let cool.
Add the ground chuck to a mixing bowl. To a smaller bowl, add in the salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Use your finger and swirl to combine the seasonings. Add the seasoning to the ground chuck, along with the cooled shallot and garlic mixture. Use your hand to combine everything with the ground chuck.
Form into golf ball, or a bit larger, shapes.
Get a large cast iron, or non stick skillet onto a medium high heat.
Add a few of the burgers to the skillet and let these sit there and cook for a minute or so, then smash them down into thin patties. I’ve been a big fan of the smashed burger lately. Something about the caramelization of them just turns me on.
Let these cook for a few minutes, then flip. Top with some of the American cheese, and let that melt.
Cook for another minute or so, then finish making the Cuban Fritas.
Add the cheeseburger to the sliced bun, then top with a small handful of the shoestring potatoes. Repeat with however many sliders you want to make.
The end result is nothing short of amazing. You get this awesome crunch with adds great texture to the burger, then the seasoning itself is out of this world. It’s got great garlic flavor, with that awesome hint of cumin. It actually might have you questioning your standard burger from now on, and my wife and kids loved it as well. Hope you enjoy!