Green chile & cheese stuffed burgers with chipotle ketchup


At the Chile Trail HQ we love nothing more than a morning of mindless surfing on the big Kahuna that is the worldwide web. Sure we say that we’re ‘working’, doing ‘research’ or ‘updating the website’. But let’s be honest, we’re shopping on eBay. Why, just the other day we nabbed a copy of Granny’s Beverly Hillbillies Cookbook. It was a rare, hard-to-find copy of this out-of-print classic. Out of print? Yes, we were shocked too.

But we digress…while surfing, we came across a statistic that we eat 50 billion hamburgers a year. I don’t mean ‘we’ as in we at the Chile Trail. Our number is significant but not quite that large. The folks that figured this out based it on 3 burgers per week per person. Hopefully they excluded the under 1-year olds who last time I checked aren’t quite ready for a Happy Meal.

It may sound like a lot but think about it – we LOVE burgers in this country. Heck, we’ve given them May and made it National Burger Month. Think about it – beer, chicken and pasta only get a day each but with burgers we’re doing a ticker tape parade for these guys for a whole month. And May has 31 days in it too…

Burgers are beautiful all year round but they come into their own during the summer when we stoke up the BBQ. Nothing screams summer more than a burger, unless you count the burn you got because you forgot to put on sunscreen. At the Chile Trail, we love a classic burger but we’re never happy to let well enough alone. So we make a stuffed burger with cheese and some Los Chileros green chile. Slather on a bit of chipotle-spiked ketchup and you’re celebrating burgers, no matter what month it is.

Green chile & cheese stuffed burgers with chipotle ketchup.

We’ve given amounts per burger so ramp it up based on numbers. A burger press is mighty handy to make pro-looking burgers, but not essential. The ketchup is enough for 3 or 4 burgers, so increase the quantities if you’re feeding crowds. We like to add some grilled red onions but add any garnish that suits your fancy.

6.5 oz hamburger meat per burger (or more if you’re really hungry)

2 strips of Los Chileros New Mexico whole green chile

2 slices of cheese – we like brie because we’re fancy but choose your favorite

Salt

Chipotle Ketchup

1/3 cup ketchup

½ tsp Los Chileros chipotle rub & mix

Splash of apple cider vinegar

To make the chipotle ketchup, mix the ketchup with the chipotle rub and splash of apple cider vinegar. Taste and add more chile if you like. Set aside until ready to serve.

To make the burgers, place the green chile strips in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for a few minutes until rehydrated and pliable. Drain. If using a burger press, put half the meat in the bottom of the press. Top with the chile and cheese and seal with the other half of the meat.

Stoke up the barbecue or a griddle pan on the stove. Add a sprinkle of salt to your burger then cook to your liking. Serve on a bun or au naturel with a heavy hit of the chipotle ketchup.

Spicy Lamb Burgers

It used to be when you ordered a burger you knew what you were getting: ground beef on a bun, cheese (preferably highly processed and day-glo orange) optional. But things aren’t so simple any more. Now we’ve got buffalo burgers, venison, turkey, elk, salmon, veggie – even kangaroo – all taking on the burger mantle.

MEATBALLS 4

Is that a bad thing? Heck no. If some foodie fuddy-duddies want to get all purist about it, then let them. They can argue that the only real burger is a hamburger (funny, don’t remember any ham in a burger…). It doesn’t mean we have to follow suit.

Because the fact is, the alternatives are pretty darn tasty. I’ll talk turkey in a future post but for now let us turn our eyes and mouth to lamb. Lamb makes an awesome burger. It’s got a distinctive taste that handles frying (or grilling) beautifully and marries well with assertive spices. And at the Chile Trail, we love assertive.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to seasoning, but for this recipe, we’ve come up with a killer combo of Southwestern meets Middle Eastern. The resulting burgers are moist, full of flavor and disturbingly addictive. We make them small then serve them on a corn tortilla with roasted peppers, arugula and a dollop of hummus. But you know, go crazy – slap it on a flat bread or pita, put it on a bun, crumble some feta cheese on top. At the Chile Trail if it tastes great then it’s never wrong.

 Spicy Lamb Burgers

Serves 3-4

I roast my own peppers because it’s so easy and the taste is awesome. I like to use long, mild peppers. Give them a rinse, then slice them into quarters lengthways. Remove the seeds and membrane. Toss in olive oil with some S&P and roast them in a hot oven. If you’re time pressed, go for a jar. I won’t tell.

1 lb. ground lamb
2 scallions, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp ancho chile powder
½ tsp cayenne or more to taste
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt

To accompany:
• Arugula
• Roasted red peppers
• Hummus
• Corn tortillas or flat bread

Grind the spices in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Feel free to use already ground spices if you want but the flavor won’t be quite as intense and fresh. Add to the lamb along with the scallions and lemon zest. Mix gently – you don’t want to overwork the lamb. Shape into small patties – about the size of silver dollars.

MEATBALLS 1

Heat a frying pan and add the lamb patties being careful not to overcrowd. Cook the patties over medium heat for a few minutes on each side and serve hot with accompaniments.

MEATBALLS 2MEATBALLS 3