I watch a lot of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. It’s a great show that can give you a lot of great ideas for grilling. One night Mrs. Grilling24x7 and I noticed an amazing green chile cheeseburger on the show. She said, “we have to do this!” I said, “okay, twist my arm!”
Of course they don’t really show the exact recipes on this show so I had to do a little research into green chile sauces and a green chile cheeseburger recipe. Turns out there are a lot of ways to make a green chile sauce! This burger is exactly what I expected it to taste like. A nice juicy burger with a very tasty and spicy green chile sauce topping made from grilled poblano peppers!
Ingredients for 4 burgers:
1-1.5 lbs of 80% lean ground beef
Salt and pepper
Monterey Jack cheese
Soft kaiser rolls
3 Poblano peppers (grilled, seeds removed)
2 Tomatillos, quartered and pan fried in oil until soft
1/2 of a serrano chile pepper
1/2 of a habanero pepper
2 Cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
2 T cilantro
Start this one by grilling the chili peppers. I coat them lightly in olive oil and toss them right over medium high heat. A couple minutes on each side and you’ll have some nice char marks. Recent update: The photo here shows only the poblano peppers on the grill. However, toss all of the chili peppers on the grill and char them all.
After all of the sides are charred take the peppers off the grill and put them in a bowl. Tightly seal the bowl. This will steam the skin a bit and make the grilled skin easy to remove.
After about 5-10 minutes the skin should come right off by scraping a knife along the side. Cut out the seeds and discard.
Cut the tomatillos into quarters and toss them into a couple of tablespoons of olive oil on a medium hot skillet. This will help soften the tomatillos. Assemble the garlic and cilantro…
… and toss it all into a food processor with the rest of the peppers.
Oh Lord look at this! At some salt and pepper if you want. Feel free to dunk some tortilla chips right on in!
Now you have the green chile sauce ready. You can put this in the fridge or move right along with the next step. I use 80% lean ground beef and pack the patties together very lightly. Treat them like meatballs. It’s ok if they almost fall apart, as I’ve said before you will be rewarded with a soft and juicy burger! I put salt and pepper all over each burger. You can also push a little dimple into the top of the burger so it doesn’t bubble up into the size of a softball.
Set the grill to medium high or so heat, whatever heat you feel comfortable grilling burgers. Right after you flip them over put some Monterey Jack cheese slices on top. This will get the cheese really melted. You don’t want to overcook your burger while you try to melt some cheese.
I topped the burgers with about 2 T of the green chile sauce. This seemed to really coat the burger well!
I thought this was a fantastic burger. The chile sauce is surprisingly not that hot according to the way the recipe is written above. I was expecting it to totally burn my mouth up. If you want it hot I suggest using 2 serrano chilis or 2 habanero chilis in addition to the three poblano peppers. I only used a half of each one and I barely had that much heat. When you first bite into the burger you get the smokey flavor of the poblano and cumin and then after a few seconds you get some heat from the peppers. It’s really nice!
Note: After making this burger a few times I learned a few things which may have made reading the above instructions a bit confusing. Tomatillos tend to be firm and sort of crunchy so I now cut them and pan fry them in a bit of olive oil. This softens them significantly. I now also grill all of the peppers, not just the poblanos. This also helps soften the green chili sauce as a grilled pepper is must softer and more tender than a firm uncooked chili.