Southwestern Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

Southwestern Burgers with Chipotle Mayo 2

I am absolutely addicted to these southwestern burgers with chipotle mayo and green chiles. They meet all of my major requirements for a “staple” summer meal… the ingredients are readily available, prep time is under a half hour, the meat is grilled and, most importantly, the end result is DELICIOUS! The green chiles, chipotle and pepper jack are one of my favorite flavor combinations and Matt somehow grills the burgers to a juicy perfection every single time. I would seriously take one (or two) of these burgers over a restaurant burger any day.

We have been enjoying these burgers almost weekly this summer. In fact, we’re going to have them for dinner tonight (YUM!!) so I thought now would be an appropriate time to share the recipe and a few pics from the last time we made them.

Southwestern Burgers with Chipotle Mayo close up

The recipe comes from our trusty Williams Sonoma Grill Master, the same book that includes BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Paella, AND the beef kebabs that I’ll share in a future post. I highly recommend this cook book!! The original burger recipe is a bit fancier than our adaptation, calling for buffalo meat, homemade mayo and fresh-roasted chiles. Those ingredients sound exciting, but aren’t very practical for a weeknight meal, so we subbed in regular ground beef, jarred mayo and canned diced green chiles and the burgers turned out great.

Southwestern Burgers with Chipotle Mayo and Green Chiles
(adapted from Williams Sonoma Grill Master; makes 4 burgers)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1-2 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo, minced; plus a teaspoon or two of adobo sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
Juice from 1/4 Lime
Salt and Pepper
1 1/3 lb. Ground Beef, 85/15
4 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
4 Burger Buns
1 – 4 oz. can Chopped Green Chiles

Directions:
Preheat your grill to high heat. Combine the mayo, chipotle, cilantro, lime, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl to make the chipotle mayo. Stir well, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the burger patties, divide the meat into four equal sections, then form each quarter into a patty about 3/4″ thick by 4-5 inches in diameter. The key to a good burger is not to over-mix or over-compress the ground beef so be gentle with this step!

Place the burger patties on a plate and create a small depression in the center of of each patty. Season both sides of the burgers with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Place the burgers on the grill over direct high heat. Leave the grill lid open and cook for 5 minutes, then flip the burgers and continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Add a slice of pepper jack cheese to each burger and allow to cook with the lid closed for another minute or until the cheese is melted. On our gas grill these cooking times yield a juicy medium burger; adjust your cooking times to reach your preferred doneness.

During the last few minutes of the burger cooking, place the buns face-down on the grill grates and grill for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the buns to a plate and spread a generous amount of the chipotle mayo over the bottom half of each bun.

When the burgers are done cooking, transfer them directly onto the mayo-ed buns. Top the burgers with a few spoonfulls of green chiles and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Make sure your puppy doesn't eat your burger!

These burgers are good… even Piper thinks so!!

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers

A few weeks ago we went grocery shopping with the intention of buying ingredients for our Guacamole-Chipotle Burgers but when we arrived at the meat aisle we discovered that our supermarket was having a sale on ground lamb.  We quickly abandoned our beef burger plans and instead decided to tackle a new recipe using the lamb.  After some quick iPhone-aided recipe searches we settled on Mediterranean lamb burgers with a spicy mayo sauce and a cucumber-mint topping.  Without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Lamb Burger

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers with Harissa Mayo and Cucumber-Mint Sauce

For the Harissa Mayo: (recipe from Chow.com)
1/4 cup Harissa*
1/2 cup Mayonnaise

For the Cucumber-Mint Sauce: (recipe from AllRecipes.com)
1/2 large Cucumber, peeled, grated and squeezed dry
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1 tablespoon Mint, choppedHomemade Harissa
1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Burgers:
1 1/2 pounds Ground Lamb
1 tablespoon Harissa*
1/4 cup Feta, crumbled
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
5-6 Hamburger Buns, cut in half lengthwise and lightly toasted

*Harissa is a Tunisian chile paste that can be purchased in tubes or cans in a good grocery store.  We couldn’t find Harissa in our local store so we used this Harissa recipe from Whole Foods to make our own.

Directions:

Start by making your condiments.  Make the Harissa Mayo by stirring together the Harissa and mayonnaise in a small bowl.  Make the Cucumber-Mint Sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a larger bowl and adding salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate both sauces until you are ready to assemble your burgers.

Raw Lamb BurgersMake the Lamb Burgers by placing the ground lamb in a shallow bowl and spreading it out slightly.  Add in the Harissa and sprinkle the feta, salt and pepper evenly over the surface of the meat.  Carefully mix the ingredients into the meat with your hands.  (Avoid over-mixing the meat as this will make your burgers tough!)  Split the meat mixture into 5-6 loose balls (about 1/4 pound each).

Place the lamb “balls” on a plate and press down gently to flatten them slightly.  Form a small indent (about 1/4″ deep) in the center of one side of each patty.  Place the lamb patties, indent side up, on a preheated, oiled grill over direct high heat.  Close the lid and allow to cook for 6-7 minutes, then flip the burgers and let them cook for another 6 minutes.  Remove the burgers from the grill and let them rest, covered, on a plate for 4-5 minutes.

To assemble your burger, slather a liberal amount of the Harissa mayo on the bottom of the toasted burger bun.  Place the cooked lamb patty in the bun and top with a heaping spoonful of the cucumber-mint sauce.  Enjoy!

Lamb Burger

Southwestern Turkey Burgers

After making our delicious Guacamole-Chipotle Burgers on Wednesday, we had a few leftovers, namely chipotle mayonnaise, guacamole, poblano pepper, cheese, and buns (everything but the burger!).  We decided to put our toppings to good use and try out the Guacamole-Chipotle Burger recipe using ground turkey instead.

We followed the same basic recipe as the beef burgers with a few exceptions.  We were worried that the lower fat content of the turkey would produce dense, dry burgers so we chopped up the pepper jack cheese and mixed it plus a little shredded Monterey Jack directly into the turkey mixture.  We also added slightly less pepper (just under 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat) and Matt grilled the burgers longer — approximately 5 minutes per side over direct high heat — to make sure they were cooked through.

The turkey burgers turned out nice and juicy thanks to all of the cheese and the overall combination of turkey, chipotle mayo, poblano, cilantro, and guacamole was delicious!  Next time we make fancy beef burgers we’ll definitely plan to make the healthier turkey equivalent with the leftovers.  🙂

Homemade Guacamole-Chipotle Burgers

Every January we go to Las Vegas for a week to exhibit at a big trade show.  Although this sounds like a great opportunity to let loose and go wild in Vegas, the reality is that after 9 1/2 hours of standing in a booth on a concrete floor (and with another 9 1/2 hours ahead of us the next day…) we typically find ourselves just looking for a solid meal that doesn’t involve walking through too many casinos.  After checking out many of the restaurants in our immediate area, we decided that our favorite place to eat was the Grand Luxe Cafe, conveniently situated right at the bottom of our hotel elevator at the Palazzo.

 The Grand Luxe Cafe’s menu is practically a small novel, boasting page after page of offerings from Italian, Asian, Mexican, and American cuisine.  Matt’s go-to dinner was the Avocado-Chipotle Burger which, according to the menu, is a “chop house burger topped with fresh avocado, fire-roasted poblano peppers, melted cheese, chipotle mayonnaise and cilantro.”  Yum!

With this description in mind, we set out to make our own version of this delicious dinner.  Judging by the look on Matt’s face as he bit into his burger tonight, I think we succeeded!

Burgers with Pepper Jack, Chipotle Mayo, Roasted Poblanos, Guacamole and Cilantro

Chipotle Mayo, Cilantro & Guacamole

You will need…
1 Poblano Chile Pepper
1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves
1/4 Cup Guacamole
4 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese
2 Hamburger Buns, cut in half lengthwise and lightly toasted

For the Chipotle Mayonnaise…
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
Juice from 1/2 Lime
1 Chipotle Pepper plus 1 Teaspoon Adobo Sauce (from a small can of Chipotles en Adobo)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Poblano Peppers

For the burger patties…
3/4 – 1 pound Ground Chuck
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
Olive Oil Spray for the Grill

Directions:

Heat your grill to medium-high heat.  Once hot, place the whole poblano pepper on the grill grates and allow it to roast for approximately 12 minutes, turning occasionally.  When the poblano skin is charred and starting to peel remove it from heat, place it in a glass bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.  (This will loosen up the poblano skin and allow it to cool enough so that you can handle it.)

Transfer the poblano to a cutting board and peel off the outer skin with your fingers.  Cut the stem off and squeeze the seeds out.  Slice the pepper into 1/2″ squares and set aside.

Combine the chipotle mayonnaise ingredients in a small food processor and blend until the pepper is broken down into small pieces.  Transfer the chipotle mayonnaise into a bowl and set aside.

To make your burger patties, place the ground chuck in a shallow bowl and spread out slightly.  Add the salt and pepper evenly over the surface of the meat, then carefully mix the meat with your hands.  The key to a good burger is not to over-mix or over-compress the ground beef so mix gently!  🙂  Split the meat mixture in half and form each section into a very loose ball by transferring the meat back and forth between your hands.

Place both burger “balls” on a plate and press down gently to flatten them ever so slightly… your finished patty should be about 3/4″ thick and 4-5 inches in diameter.  Form a small indent (about 1/4″ deep) in the center of each patty.

Place the burgers, indent side up, on a preheated, oiled grill over direct high heat.  Close the lid and allow to cook for 2 1/2 minutes, then flip the burgers and allow to cook for 2 minutes.  Add the slices of pepper jack cheese to each burger and allow to cook (lid closed) for another minute.

While the burgers are grilling, spread some of the chipotle mayonnaise on the bottom of your hamburger bun and spread some guacamole on the top of the bun.  Place the cooked burgers onto the bun and top with roasted poblano peppers and cilantro.

We enjoyed our burgers with a side of Alexia Sweet Potato Chipotle Fries and a Dill-Cucumber Salad.  This was a pretty spicy meal so the cucumber had a very nice cooling effect.

Ready to eat!