If you were to ask me what I love most about summer, my answer would most definitely be grilling (or more specifically, grilled food). I love the carefree feeling that comes with summer weekends – cooking out with friends, enjoying drinks, playing games in the backyard. Summer is so leisurely and no-fuss, and I love that about it. While I’m always up for standard cookout fare, sometimes it’s fun to dress things up a bit. This burger does that but still maintains that laid-back summer feeling.
Eric and I both love poblano peppers, so I was pretty excited when I stumbled across this recipe in a stack of cooking magazines my friend Jackie gave me. What’s not to love about hamburgers that incorporate poblanos and chipotles? These burgers are slightly more involved than regular ones, but the payoff is well worth it. This recipe uses ground sirloin, which many people would consider to be too lean to make decent burgers. However, these are some the juiciest and most succulent burgers I’ve ever had. The secret is something that may surprise you – bread. If you’ve ever made meatballs, you may be familiar with the term panade, which is basically a paste made of bread and milk. That mixture is what keeps these burgers tender and moist and is the reason you can use a leaner cut of meat. The burgers are full of flavor from the roasted poblanos and spices, but the chipotle cream turns them into something magical. It is a bit spicy, but it complements the burgers so well. Eric and I made these for ourselves this time, but we’ll definitely be making these for friends next time we have a cookout.
- YIELD: 4 burgers
2 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon skim milk
1 slice white bread, crusts removed, and torn into ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
½ cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 chipotle chile, finely chopped
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
4 hamburger buns, toasted on the grill
Lettuce, onions, etc. for serving
If you only want to cook two of these, the uncooked patties freeze well and just need to be thawed in the refrigerator before being grilled.
Heat broiler to high. Place poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil about 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until blackened. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Alternately, place in a plastic bag and seal. Let stand for 15 minutes. Remove skin and discard seeds and ribs. Finely chop peepers and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine milk and bread pieces. Mash with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add poblanos, half of cilantro, cumin, coriander, paprika, ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper and beef. Gently toss to combine, taking care not to overwork the meat.
Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into a ½-inch thick patty. Press gently in the center of each to form a small indention. Cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
Heat grill to medium-high heat or prepare coals. Meanwhile, make chipotle cream by combining the sour cream with the remaining cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir in shallots, lime juice, chipotle and adobo sauce. Set aside.
Coat the grill rack with cooking spray and place the patties on top. Grill for 3 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn and continue cooking an additional 3 minutes or until burgers reach desired stage of doneness. Serve with chipotle cream sauce, lettuce and any other desired toppings.