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.

Gobble, gobble burgers

Turkey burgers? Hmmmm….not so sure. I know, I know. I’m the guy who extolled the virtues of lamb burgers just a couple of weeks ago – but turkey? Here’s the problem. People like to talk about turkey as the “healthy” choice and say things like “replace your hamburger with turkey and you won’t even notice the difference.” It’s like a bait and switch operation where you take one food and try to make it taste like another.

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Why can’t turkey just taste like turkey?

The answer is that ground turkey – nice and lean and lower calorie – can be pretty boring. I’ve been messing around with turkey burgers for a while and I know. You start out with this lean meat and you want to keep it moist so you add an egg but then the whole thing looks way too mushy so you add bread crumbs. You make them into patties, fry them up and suddenly you’ve got something that looks and tastes like a shot-put.

So what do you do? I figured out the key is to skip the bread crumbs. You don’t need them. They are not your friend. They make your turkey burgers heavy and dense. The other key is to add lots of seasoning – fresh herbs and chile are a must. Turkey can take it – honest. Now the burger mixture you’re going to get is soft – too soft to form into patties – but that’s okay. You’re going to scoop the mixture onto the hot pan, let it cook through (no medium rare here guys) and then serve it up with some creamy avocado.

I’ve added zucchini to the mixture too. No, this is not my way of sneaking in a vegetable on you. I’ve done it for one reason and one reason only – it tastes great.

Turkey Zuchini Burgers with Chile, Dill & Mint

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I’m going to be honest with you. This mixture – pre-cooking – isn’t going to win any beauty contest. It’s a bit goopy but persevere because they taste great. Honest.

Serves 3-4

Turkey burgers
1 lb. ground turkey meat
1 zucchini, coarsely grated
3-4 scallions, finely chopped – about 3 ½ Tbsp
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ Tbsp dill, finely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp mint, finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt
Olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

Creamy avocado
1 avocado
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp sour cream
Lime juice
Salt

In a large bowl, mix together all the burger ingredients thoroughly but avoid over mixing as it damages the texture of the turkey. Heat a frying pan and coat with a tablespoon or two of oil. When the pan is hot, place spoonfuls of the burger mixture onto the pan (about ¼ cup per burger). When browned, flip and continue cooking until cooked through. If you have time, test a small sample burger first, taste and adjust the chile and salt as needed.

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While the burgers are cooking, make the Creamy avocado. In a small bowl, mash the avocado until fairly smooth. Stir in the dill and sour cream and a good squeeze or two of lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve on top of or along side the burgers.

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