Skip to content

Celebrate Fourth of July With Cameron Diaz’s Cuban Smash Burger Recipe

Every year, the Fourth of July barbecue is the unsung grilling contest of the year. Nothing says saluting our nation like a juicy burger, and this year we have the perfect recipe for you—with a Cuban twist.

Cameron Diaz Smash Burger
Cameron Diaz Smash Burger

Actress and co-founder of Avaline, Cameron Diaz developed this Smash Burger and added some scrumptious plantain chips as a side. While the recipe may feel simple, it’s a treat for the taste buds. Pair it with Avaline citrusy sips like White Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Rosé or Rosé.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts canola oil
  • 1 small red onion or ½ large red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 avocados (firm but ripe, cut into ¼ inch half moons)
  • 1 jar whole pickles + pickling liquid (such as grillos) (cut into pickle chips)
  • 3 ½ tbsp + extra for seasoning kosher salt 
  • 2 limes
  • ½ tsp mild chile flake (such as gochugaru chile flake)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard 
  • 2 cloves medium garlic cloves (fine grated)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange 
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp granulated onion 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef (80% lean)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 8 GREEN, unripe plantains 
  • 16 slices of Cuban bread or crusty French bread (alternative: 8 brioche buns)
  • ½ lb sliced Swiss cheese
  • ½ lb Black Forest ham (thinly sliced)
  • Avaline Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, or White

Directions:

Take a little time to prep all of the components of your dish—it will make the actual cooking go a lot faster. Then, preheat your oven to 200 F.

Then, start prepping for your plantain chips:

Pour canola oil into a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Preheat over medium-high heat to 350 F.

Make the Chile-Limon Salt:In a small mixing bowl combine 2 tbsp kosher salt and zest of 1 lime. Massage together with fingers to release lime oils. Mix in ½ tsp mild chile flakes and set aside.

Now prep your burgers:

Make the Pickled Onions & Avocado: In a medium mixing bowl combine sliced onion and avocado. Pour the pickling liquid from the pickles over top. Set aside in fridge. 

Make the Golden Aioli:In a small mixing bowl, mix together 1 cup mayo, 2 tbsp yellow mustard, 2 microplaned cloves of garlic and 1 tsp sugar. Set aside. 

Burger Patties: In a small bowl mix together the zest of 1 whole lime & lemon, zest of ½ an orange, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 tsp granulated garlic, 2 tsp granulated onion, 1 tsp cumin, 1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt and 1 tsp black pepper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork. Add the seasoning mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Portion into 8 equal sized balls (4 oz each) and set aside in the fridge.

It’s time to make your Plantain Chips!

Line a sheet pan with 2-3 layers of paper towels and set aside. Prepare plantains by cutting off ends and peeling off skin. Using a mandolin, or a knife if you don’t have one, thinly slice (as thin as possible) the plantains lengthwise.

Using the preheated pot of oil (double check with your thermometer that it’s 350 F), fry the plantains in small batches until the bubbling slows down and the chips look golden (about 5 minutes). Use a spider strainer or slotted spoon to remove chips from oil and move to prepared sheet pan. Immediately season liberally with the Chile-Limon salt.

Repeat this process until all plantain chips are fried. 

Now you’re ready to cook the Smash Burgers:

Preheat a large saute pan or flat top over high heat. Once preheated, lightly oil cooking surface and add patties. (Make sure to not overcrowd the pan, the patties will require extra room for smashing!) Cook for one minute undisturbed. Then, using a wide spatula or flat surface, flatten the patties until they are about ¼ inch thick.

Season with salt and let the patties cook for about two more minutes to develop the crust before flipping over.Since there is pork in the mixture, make sure the patties are cooked completely through.

Once flipped, add 2-3 pickle chips, a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese to each burger. Cover with lid or sheet pan and let the steam melt the cheese. Meanwhile, generously spoon the Golden Aioli on both sides of the bread and lay the Pickled Onions & Avocado on the bottom side of the bread. When the cheese is melted, the burger should be fully cooked. Move the burgers to the prepared bread. Return the entire burger to the pan. Using a clean spatula, press the burgers to toast the exterior of the bread on both sides.

When the bread is golden brown and toasty, move to a sheet pan and keep warm in oven. Repeat the process with the other burgers, then serve.

This recipe courtesy of Avaline.