Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more tempting to my husband’s palate than a juicy cheeseburger. He likes his burgers prepared with beef, cooked just until pink inside, and topped with plenty of melted cheese. And if this all-American sandwich is seasoned with a hint of heat in the way of peppers or relish, well, he is in burger heaven!
So, it was not surprising that my spouse was crazy about the special burgers I grilled last week. The generous patties, sprinkled with a mixture of chipotle chili powder, cumin, and coarse salt, were cooked until medium rare (rosy inside), then topped with thinly sliced Mahon cheese and roasted jalapeno peppers. It was the delicious peppers that distinguished these patties from more common renditions. It took about 5 minutes to halve and deseed the peppers and another 15 to roast them until they just were softened and browned at the edges. The subtle smoky flavor and mild peppery accent added immeasurably to the overall taste.
The slightly soft, yellow-hued Mahon (a Spanish cow’s milk cheese) paired well with the
peppers, but a sharp white cheddar would also work. I omitted such embellishments as onions, tomatoes, and lettuce, so that the flavor of the peppers would shine through. We’re having company for supper this weekend and guess what my husband suggested to anchor the menu!
Cheeseburgers with Roasted Jalapenos
4 jalapeno peppers about 3 inches long (about 2 to 3 oz totall)
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 pounds ground beef, preferably grass fed and 85 to 90 % lean (See note.)
4- ounce wedge Mahon cheese or sharp cheddar cheese, very thinly sliced (See note.)
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
1. Arrange a rack at the lowest position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. F.
2. Wearing rubber gloves, cut off and discard the tops of the peppers, and then quarter them lengthwise. With a sharp knife, scrape out all the seeds and cut out the membranes. Place the pepper halves, cuts sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush with the olive oil.
3. Roast the peppers until they are just starting to brown around the edges and are softened, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool 5 minutes. (Peppers can be roasted 2 hours ahead; leave uncovered at room temperature.)
4. In a small bowl, combine the chipotle chili pepper, cumin, and salt. Shape the ground beef into 4 equal patties about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with some of the chipotle mixture.
5. When ready to cook the burgers, oil a grill rack and arrange it 4 to 5 inches from the heat source. Prepare the grill for a hot fire (high temperature). Or, oil a stove top grill pan and place it over medium high heat. Grill until burgers are rosy pink inside (medium rare), 3 to 4 minutes per side. Watch carefully as the cooking time can vary depending on the type of grill and the intensity of the heat.
6. Top each burger with some cheese and then with 4 roasted pepper slices. Cook until cheese has melted, about 1 minute or more. Place the burgers in buns. Serves 4.
Note: Whole Foods sells excellent grass fed ground beef that is 90 % lean.
Note: You can find Mahon cheese, which can be soft or hard, in some grocery stores such as Whole Foods or in cheese shops. I used a cheese slicer to get extra thin slices. For more information on Mahon cheese, click here.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2013
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