It'd been a long time since I'd made these Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers. Now I'm wondering what took me so long to make my way back to them.
This burger is different from the typical with the same old toppings. Roasted jalapenos, queso fresco cheese and a creamy buttermilk dressing combine with bacon & beef to create awesome flavor! It's definitely spicy but the creaminess from the buttermilk dressing helps to cool things down. Another difference is the crispy bacon is added to the meat instead of its usual spot as a topping which adds a great texture to the meat.
These Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers were made at one of our “burger barbecues” where we serve – you guessed it – a whole lotta burgers! We make salmon burgers, turkey burgers, beef burgers and even black bean burgers – then offer more toppings than you can imagine! It sounds like a lot of work but it's actually quite simple (and I have tips to share for making it even easier). It's a lot of fun and everyone can try different burger variations instead of committing to just one. We make slider size and let everyone go burger crazy! Another trick is to have super fun toppings…of course we have cheese for melting on top but we also serve a spicy queso dip, both for chip dipping and to add as a topping. This spicy sausage queso dip looks amazing and would be an over-the-top burger topping!
But you came here for just one delicious burger recipe so here it is. You'll love the spicy jalapenos and cool buttermilk dressing (not to mention the creamy avocado). It's perfect for summer and is delicious paired with summer vegetables. You can try making zucchini ribbons or some easy garlic snap peas for a healthy balance or keep things really indulgent and grill some mashed potatoes! Or, as is usually my personal preference, just make it all :)
- 6 jalapeños
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 pounds ground chuck
- 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
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 6 hamburger buns, split
- Grill or roast the jalapenos 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.
- In a large bowl, combine the crumbled 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.
Adapted from Robert Del Grande, executive chef of RDG & Bar Annie