I may have mentioned my husband's love of pub food. When I saw this recipe this month in Everyday with Rachel Ray, I knew he would love it. I added it to my menu for the following week.
Jalapeno and fresno chilies are sliced into rounds and toasted on the stove top. The cream cheese mixture - reminiscent of the popper filling - called for cumin and cilantro. I omitted them because I am one of those people who can't eat cilantro. And we had an unfortunate incident with a jar of cumin last year, where the top came off and a half a jar dumped all over my shrimp marinade. I've been using cumin in small doses ever since.
I was skeptical about the burger itself. I like condiments on my burger. I wasn't sure how I'd like a glorified cheeseburger with no other toppings. But somehow ketchup, mayo or barbecue sauce didn't seem right. I debated adding some red onion jam and next time, I just might. Overall though, these were a hit. Smoky heat from the jalapenos, with just enough cream cheese to cool it down, and the hint of cheddar cheese on top - it really was the perfect mirror of a jalapeno popper at a bar. We served it with the twice baked potato skins and beer, to round out the pub feel of the meal. At the last minute, we invited some friends over for dinner. All that was missing was football.
This is a keeper, and I can't wait to make them again and play with the flavors some more.
Jalapeno Popper Burgers
slightly adapted from EveryDay with Rachel Ray, June/July 2011
3 fat jalapeno chili peppers, cored, seeded and sliced into rings
1 red fresno pepper, sliced into thin strips
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used the whipped variety)
2 tablespoons grated onion
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
4 chives, minced
salt and pepper
2 pounds ground beef sirloin
4 ounces of cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices
Preheat your grill to medium high. In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, over medium-high, cook the jalapeno and fresno chili peppers and toss for a few minutes until they are charred a bit at the edges, but still crisp.
Combine the cream cheese, onion, garlic, chives, salt and pepper. Form the beef into four patties and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4-6 minutes per side. Top with cream cheese mixture and sliced cheese. Cover the grill and allow the cheese to melt. Top with chili peppers and transfer to your favorite hamburger bun.