Happy Cinco de Mayo, Hamburguesa Hombres and Hombrettes! Here's a recipe for a South of the Borderinspired burger, as adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Grilling Cookbook. [Note: What makes this Cinc-nifico is the "Mexican Ketchup." Other than that, it's just the AHT Basic Grilled Burger Recipe. We didn't test the ketchup, so take it with a grain of sal, muchachos. The Management]
CINCO DE MAYO HAMBURGUESAS
Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck 1 teaspoon table salt (or to taste) 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste) 4 buns* 8 slices American cheese "Mexican Ketchup" (recipe follows)
1. Prepare the grill: Light about 6 pounds charcoal. Preferably hardwood charcoal ignited in a starter chimney. Let coals burn until they're completely covered with a thin coating of light-gray ash, about 30 minutes. Spread coals evenly over grill bottom, place rack on grill, and heat until medium-hot (hand can be held 5 inches above grill surface for no more than 3 or 4 seconds).
2. While coals are firing, break up meat with hands in a medium bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper over meat, and mix lightly with hands to distribute seasonings. Divide beef into 4 six-ounce portions. Gently toss one portion back and forth between hands to form loose ball. Lightly flatten into patty 3/4-inch thick and about 4 1/2-inches in diameter. Gently press center of patty down until about 1/2-inch thick, creating a slight depression in each patty; repeat with remaining portions of meat.
3. Grill patties, uncovered, without pressing down on them, until well-seared on first side, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip burgers with a metal spatula (not tongs or a fork), and continue grillingabout 2 minutes for rare, 2 1/2 minutes for medium-rare, or 3 minutes for medium. If making cheeseburgers, add 2 cheese slices to each patty about a minute after flipping. Also about a minute before removing burgers, place buns on grill, face open, to toast.
4. Place burgers on bun bottom, divide "Mexican Ketchup" evenly among burgers, and apply top bun.
5. Mmm. MUY DELICIOSO!
Ingredients 1 cup chopped green onions 1/4 to 1/2 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 1 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano 1/2 teaspoon table salt 1 cup ketchup (preferably Heinz) 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Place all ingredients except ketchup, vinegar, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor, and process until combined.
2. Add ketchup, vinegar, and olive oil. Process until smooth.
There you have it. Why American cheese on a Mexican-inspired burger? Can't we all get along? It's the best cheese for burgers, dammit! Oh, and what's that indentation for in Step 2 of the burger recipe? I learned this trick from coworkers. The burger usually gets crisper and thinner at the ends due to fat loss during cooking. Making the ends thicker, therefore, leads to a more evenly shaped and evenly cooked patty.
* I prefer "Big Marty's", which are soft and delicious sesame-drenched rolls from Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe.
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