August 02, 2011
This past weekend, I was in a mood for burgers, and I also wanted to use some of the wonderful hot peppers we've been growing, so I tossed together a new recipe: Jalapeno Cheeseburgers. They turned out great: Lots of flavor with just a bit of mild, pleasant heat. Juli and I both enjoyed them for lunch, and we had the leftovers for lunch the next day. They were almost as good warmed up in the microwave as they were fresh off the grill.
I used fully ripe, red jalapenos in these burgers. The red jalapenos impart a more complex, mellow and slightly sweet flavor than you get with green jalapenos, but burgers with green jalapenos would still be great, just in a different way and with a bit more heat. Either way, you'll end up with a tasty, very memorable burger.
As usual, I used Cabot extra-sharp cheddar, which is our go-to cheddar cheese. Big bricks of this cheese are available at Wal-Mart stores, and while the Cabot cheddar is a bit more expensive than your basic supermarket cheddar, the difference in flavor is more than enough to make up for the slightly higher cost.
yield = 4 servings
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (85% lean) beef
3 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 large (or two small) jalapeno peppers, seeded
and finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
4 hamburger buns, sliced
lettuce leaves and tomato slices to garnish
Add the ground beef to a large bowl, breaking it up to increase surface area for seasoning. Add the cheddar cheese, minced jalapeno, cumin, garlic, pepper, oregano, salt and onion powder and mix the ingredients with your hands. Separate the meat mixture into four even-sized portions. Form one portion into a ball, then flatten it into a patty. Press the center of the patty down with your fingertips, leaving an indentation. Repeat with the remaining portions of the meat mixture.
Prepare the grill for medium-hot, direct heat. When the coals are ready, cook the burgers for 4 1/2 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer cooked burgers to a plate, cover with foil and let them rest for a couple minutes, then serve. Serve on buns, topping each burger with lettuce and tomato or other toppings of choice.