The Jalapeño Burger

A thick juicy beef patty topped with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce between two buns, mm..makes my mouth want to do the rumba. I’ve come to find in my opinion, that the key to a tasty burger is a moist and flavorful patty. When the patty comes off the grill or pan dry, you end up reaching across the table for the ketchup to slather it on just so you can finish your bite.
Wanting to make beef patties that provided a punch of flavor once bitten into, I began to think what better way to do that than to add a bit of spiciness? Jalapeño peppers ought to do the trick! To bring out more of the flavor and heat from the pepper, I learned that blackening, or roasting, it over an open flame is the best way to roast and bring out that heat. It’s a lot easier to do this when you have a gas stove or use your grill often, I have an electric stove at home so I took a lighter and blackened it that way. Definitely not my first choice, I probably could have thought of a smarter way to do it, as you can imagine it was…slow haha. But it made the kitchen more enjoyable as my husband was laughing at my newest innovation. The peppers can also be blackened or roasted in the oven and by searing them on a pan. The heat will make it easier to peel off the skin should you choose to, which is a huge plus!
I love spicy foods, spicy Pho, hot wings, chili on my fried rice, the list can go on for a while. I think it’s because I just love that fiery aftertaste left in my mouth after I take a bite. If you or your guests aren’t huge fans of too much heat, just be careful with which parts and how much of the peppers you put into the patties. When you cut the pepper in half lengthwise, you’ll see soft porous white ribs and small seeds. The white ribs and the small seeds in the jalapeño peppers are what will add heat to the beef, less of those components will make more mmm’s and less reaching for that glass water. Before cutting lengthwise into the pepper, remember to peel the outside skin off. You may choose to leave it on before chopping up, but I’m not sure what will happen if you have something with the texture of apple skin in your patties.
It’s suggested to use one pepper for one pound of beef, having two pounds of ground beef I ended up using two whole jalapeño peppers. Mixing the beef with the chopped peppers, I added paprika, onion powder, along with salt and pepper. In order to create a patty with equal and balanced flavors, really mixing all the ingredients was important to result in a well balanced foundation, creating flavor in every bite. You don’t want one bite of burger to have an overpowering punch while another bite tastes like…no punches at all. Each patty was formed into about 4 ounces each, with the first batch of searing I didn’t flatten the patties out enough so they ended up being small and thick. Whether searing or grilling, be sure to flatten them out a bit with a dimple at the center of each, the patties will expand quite a bit when it starts sizzling away on the pan.
About 3-4 minutes of searing or grilling per side should produce a bit of a pink center. For a more well done burger you’ll probably want to sear them at least 5 minutes per side. I stuffed a couple patties with some crumbled Blue Cheese for my husband. Previously I mentioned really mixing the ingredients, for the cheese I placed it smack in the middle of the patty and kind of folded it over itself, then flattened it out. It allows for the burger to be enjoyed with that moldy delightful flavor in every bite :). To create an even more cheesy burger, I added a slice of mild cheddar for the last couple minutes of searing before taking it off the pan. The cheese will melt by the time it’s placed between the two buns and other toppings, be sure not to burn yourself biting into it!
Once I got everything between two buns along with tomatoes, lettuce, and some mayo plus ketchup we were all set! Biting into that burger was worth all the mixing, chopping and accidentally cutting myself with the peeler.  Served along side, some sweet potato and golden brown crinkle cut fries, dinner was all set!
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