Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers
Every time I think I’m “over” Rachael Ray and her magazine, she throws out one really awesome recipe that keeps me reading month after month. I much prefer “Fine Cooking” or “Cooking Light” for recipes that never fail. They’re no more difficult to make than Rachael’s recipes and they’re a bit more sophisticated. But sometimes, well…you just need a good burger. Especially at the start of grillin’ season!
I love this burger because it’s different from the usual, and yet it contains many of the same ingredients you’re likely already putting on your beef. I warn you – this was S P I C Y!! But the creaminess from the buttermilk dressing was a nice contrast to the spicy jalapenos, and the combination of flavors can’t be beat. I especially love that the crispy bacon is added to the meat itself; it adds a nice texture. And ironically, it’s not actually a Rachael Ray recipe, it’s merely printed in her magazine. The recipe actually comes from Robert Del Grande, executive chef of RDG + Bar Annie restaurant in Houston.
Make sure to use queso fresco cheese and freshly baked buns – it will make all the difference!
Jalapeño, Avocado and Bacon Burgers
You can see that I renamed the recipe, but their title is good too ;-)
- 6 jalapeño chiles
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 pounds ground beef chuck
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 6 hamburger buns, split
- Preheat a grill to medium and place a cast-iron skillet on top. Add the chiles and cook until softened and the skin is charred, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the stems, skin and seeds; finely chop the chiles.
- Meanwhile, cook the bacon in the skillet until crisp. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat; chop the bacon.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped bacon, the reserved bacon fat, the beef and half of the chiles. Form into 6 patties; season with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the queso fresco, mayonnaise, buttermilk, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining chiles. Season with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate.
- In another bowl, toss the avocados, cilantro, onion and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; set aside.
- Grill the burgers, flipping once, for about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Just before the burgers are finished cooking, grill the buns until toasted, about 1 minute. Place a burger on each bun bottom, top with some of the avocado salad, drizzle with some of the queso fresco dressing and set a bun top in place.