Yesterday I posted my all-time favorite gourmet hamburger recipe (that I could seriously eat every single day, they’re that good!), but let’s pretend for a moment that bacon and blue cheese aren’t your thing. No biggie. I get that some people have a problem with “stinky cheese,” as my mom refers to it. Okay, so maybe you’re looking for a burger that’s a little less fancy and a lot more folksy. In that case, kick the mud off your cowboy boots and try on this spicy Tex-Mex burger for size.
Jalapeño-Cheddar Burgers with Chipotle-Lime Ranch Dressing
FOR THE BURGERS
- 2 lbs. ground meat (beef, lamb, bison, pork, chicken, turkey – or a combination of 2 or 3)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (1 tsp per pound of meat)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (½ tsp per pound)
- 1 tsp horseradish (½ tsp per pound)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt (½ tsp per pound)
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 jalapeño (stem, seeds, and ribs removed), finely diced
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems only), finely chopped (½ Tbsp per pound)
- 1 tsp hot sauce (¼ tsp per pound)
- 2 green onions, diced (1 onion per pound)
- 4 thick slices of sharp cheddar cheese for serving
- 8 slices of avocado (from about 1-1½ avocados) for serving
- 4 good quality, large hamburger buns for serving
FOR THE CHIPOTLE-LIME RANCH DRESSING
- ½ cup sour cream (light or regular)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (light or regular)
- 1 tsp jarred or canned diced chipotle peppers
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems only), finely chopped
- 2 tsp lime juice (from about 1 lime)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp agave syrup (or honey)
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ⅛ tsp smoked paprika
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
*Alternatively you can use ¾ cup pre-made Ranch dressing and blend it in a food processor with the chipotle pepper, lime juice, and smoked paprika until smooth. (This dressing is from my Southwest Steak Chopped Salad recipe.)
PREPARE THE BURGERS
Divide meat into 4 mounds, rolling each mound into a ball. Flatten each ball to about an inch thickness, then using your thumb, press a divot into the center of the patty. This will keep the finished burgers nice and flat instead of round on top.
Generously oil the grate of an outdoor grill and prepare for high-direct heat. Once the internal temperature reaches 450°F, place patties directly over heat source and cook, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes. Flip patties and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the second side for medium (2-3 minutes longer if you want them cooked through). Do not, I repeat, DO NOT press down on the burgers while they are cooking, otherwise you’ll lose all the juices to the fire and the meat will dry out – I can’t stress this point enough! Top each burger with a slice of cheese, and close the lid of the BBQ until cheese melts, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
PREPARE THE DRESSING
ASSEMBLE THE BURGERS
While the hamburgers are resting, turn grill down to low and toast buns until slightly golden. Slather Ranch dressing on the inside of the top-half of each toasted bun. To the bottom bun, add the burger and top each with 2 slices of avocado, then cover with the top-half of the bun.
A can of light beer may be required to wash everything down.