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Pati's Mexican Table - Surfside Eats (810)

Habanero Shrimp Burger with Habanero Tartar Sauce

Makes 6 burgers     INGREDIENTS

  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro, leaves and upper part of stems
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrot
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus more to sprinkle on burgers
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds medium-sized shrimp, rinsed, peeled and patted dry, divided
  • Vegetable oil, to brush on the burgers
  • 6 brioche or burger buns, lightly toasted before serving
  • 6 butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 batch Habanero Tartar Sauce
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, thinly sliced


  • In the bowl of a food processor, add the habanero, lime juice, cilantro, mayonnaise, carrot, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and a quarter pound of the shrimp. Pulse until completely smooth. Add the remaining shrimp and pulse a couple times, until you have a coarse ground meat mixture.

  • Cover a small sheet pan or tray with wax paper. Put some lukewarm water in a bowl and use it to wet your hands as you shape the mixture onto 6 burger patties. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Heat a grill or grill pan on medium heat. Generously brush the shrimp burger patties with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on the grill or grill pan and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until browned on both sides and the color inside has changed to a darker pink.

  • Lightly toast the buns in the oven or on a heated skillet. On the bottom half, place a lettuce leaf, some habanero tarter sauce, a shrimp burger, a couple slices of bacon, a couple slices of avocado, more tartar sauce to taste, and top with the top bun. Repeat with the rest of the burgers.

Habanero Tartar Sauce

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 packed tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 packed tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and upper stems
  • 3 scallions, tops removed, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste


Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

French Fries with Chiltepín Salt and Cotija

Makes 4 - 6 servings


  • Vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
  • 4 russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon dried chiltepín chiles
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • Habanero Tartar Sauce, or ketchup for serving


  • Fill a large Dutch oven or casserole a little less than halfway with oil. Place over medium heat and bring to 325°F degrees — or test by dropping in a small piece of potato, if the oil bubbles all around it, it’s ready.

  • While the oil is heating up, fill a large bowl with ice water. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch matchsticks. Add them to the ice water immediately after cutting, stirring occasionally to make sure the potatoes are not sticking to each other.

  • Remove about a quarter of the potatoes from the water. Pat dry with clean kitchen towels or paper towels. Once dry, carefully add them to the hot oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with tongs or a spider to make sure they aren’t sticking to each other. The fries should start to look creamy and matte in color. If they begin to brown, take them out. Transfer the fries to the baking sheet with the cooling rack and repeat the process with the remaining potatoes.

  • When all the potatoes have been fried and transferred to the baking sheet with the rack, raise the heat of the oil to 375°F to 400°F, or raise the heat under the casserole to medium-high.

  • While the oil is heating, crush the chiltepín chiles and mix with the salt, lime zest, a few cracks of black pepper, and the Cotija cheese. Set aside.

  • Once the oil is ready, add the fries back into the oil in 4 batches. Cook each batch for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the fries are golden brown. Transfer the fries back to the baking sheet with the rack.