THE GREEN CHILE CHEESEBURGER
4 New Mexico green chiles (or a substitute, roasted, see below)
1 pound ground beef (at least 15% fat)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
8 thin slices monterey jack cheese
4 leaves romaine lettuce
4 brioche buns (warmed)
4 slices tomato
salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
olive oil or canola oil, for shallow-frying
1 yellow onion (sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rings)
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (finely grated)
Dice the roasted green chiles and season them with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the beef with the garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chile powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the Worcestershire sauce.
To form the patties, cut 2 large sheets of wax paper. Divide the meat mixture into 4 portions and roll them into big meatballs with your hands. Place them on a sheet of wax paper and top with the other sheet. Flatten them with a dinner plate. Trust me: They won’t be too thin, as they rise a bit when cooked.
Prepare a grill to medium-high; heat a grill pan or skillet to medium- high; or preheat the broiler. Grill, pan-fry, or broil these burgers for about 7 minutes on one side. Flip them, adding one-fourth of the chiles and 2 slices of cheese to the patty so they melt together as the burger continues to cook. Cook the burgers another 5 to 7 minutes for medium, or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160ºF and the meat is no longer pink. Let the burgers rest for 5 to 10 minutes on a cutting board before you serve them.
Place the lettuce on the bottom half of the bun, then the cheese-topped patty, the tomato, and the top half of the bun. Enjoy, it’s beastly.
To Roast the Chiles: bring one eye of your gas stovetop to medium-high or preheat your broiler. (Or if you’re already grilling, you can just do this outside on the grill.) If using the stovetop, place the chile directly on the eye over the flame (trust me) and blacken it on all sides, using tongs to turn the pepper over so every surface is charred. You aren’t burning it, don’t worry. If using the broiler, just place the pepper under the flame and roast, turning with tongs until all sides are blackened and charred. Remove the pepper from the heat and place it in a small resealable plastic bag for 2 to 3 minutes. This will steam the skin and make it very easy to remove.
Take the roasted pepper out of the bag and place it on a cutting board. Holding the pepper in place by the stem with one hand, take a regular dinner fork gently down the sides of the pepper, lightly piercing the skin with the tines, then using them to pull the skin off gently. It should peel right off with little effort. There might be a few little black flecks of char left on the chile. That’s okay. You can also remove the seeds from the chile with a spoon if you are wary of too much heat (or are roasting multiple chiles). Just be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling the seeds and membrane and to wash your cutting board well after you prep the chiles. At this point, you can store the chile in the refrigerator for up to a week.
SECRET TRICK: You could also use the cook-it-twice method for the chiles: Dice them and wrap them in foil with a touch of olive oil and garlic cook them at the same time you put the burgers on. When you flip your burgers, place the chile on your burger then pour the spicy juice and infused olive oil, THEN add your cheese, shredded or not.
For the Onion Rings: set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Line a large plate with paper towels.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt, and black pepper. Beat the eggs in a small bowl.
In a medium saucepan or deep skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of oil to medium-high (around 350ºF), or until the oil begins to shimmer.
Give each batch of onion rings a bath in the eggs, then cover them well on all sides with the flour mixture, setting them down gently on the rack set into the baking sheet until all have been battered.
Working with just a few at a time–NOT all at once–add the onions to the oil. These will cook fast, about 3 minutes. Flip them over if necessary halfway through. When they are GBD (Golden Brown Delicious), remove the onions and place them on the paper towels. (You may need to add a little oil in later batches. If so, let it come back up to medium-high.)
When all the onion rings are fried, sprinkle on a little more salt and pepper and dust with the parmesan.