Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Cheesy Verde Burger

The cheesy verde burger

I bought a 3 lb package of ground chuck on sale and decided I would make it into my weekly bargain buy and turn into several meals for myself — but it could just as easily feed a family on one or two occasions.

First thing I wanted to make was burgers. So I divided it in half.

Half would become 4 patties, the other half ... that will be my next post!

I took the half and split it into quarters, then formed each into nice round patties. I seasoned both sides with salt and pepper and preheated the grill. Once I threw them on I let the first side sear for 5 minutes then flipped. The second side I let go two minutes before adding a slice of cheddar jack cheese, which melted all over the patty during the final 3 minute cook. I pulled the burgers and rested 10 minutes before assembling a sandwich.

During the 10 minute rest, I sliced some fresh tomato and tore up some cilantro. Once properly rested, I stacked the burger on a bun, topped with the tomato and cilantro and slathered on some salsa verde I had made the night before with fresh tomatillos.

The burger was juicy and perfectly cooked.

The tomato, cilantro and salsa verde added a level of homemade pizazz that can only be found with fresh ingredients cooked perfectly to ones own personal preference. Nothing on this burger was squeezed from a can or squirted from a bottle —  It did have store-bought bread — but I can assure, the burger, with all these fresh toppings was a culinary experience. A painting of flavors that excites the taste buds rather than the retina.

This burger was the best single thing I had eaten in a while.

I made enough to make four sandwiches. Which means that the other three were stored and will become meals over the next few days. Two lunches and one more dinner most likely. The leftovers won't be as good as the fresh-off-the grill burger, but it will be better than McDonald on any day — and a hole hell of a lot cheaper!

Eat well, cook often ...

CHEESY VERDE BURGERS
Serves 4, 30 minutes
1.5 lbs ground chuck, divided into 4 patties (1/2 inch thick)
4 slices cheddar jack cheese
4 slices fresh tomato
1/2 C of fresh cilantro, chopped
Salsa verde for topping (recipe follows)
4 toasted hamburger buns

Season patties with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat grill to high. Sear patties for 5 minutes on one side, with lid of grill closed. Flip. Sear two minutes more, lid on. Add cheese, close lid, cook three minutes more. Remove from grill. Let rest 10 minutes.

Top each burger with tomato slice, salsa verde and fresh cilantro. Then serve.

SALSA VERDE
Makes 2 cups, 1 hour 30 minutes
1 lb tomatillos, quartered
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
3/4 pineapple juice
1/2 C cilantro
3 limes, zest and juice

In a little oil over medium heat cook onion and jalapeno until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more or until fragrant. Add pineapple juice. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Let liquid reduce by 3/4ths. Add tomatillos and cook 4 minutes more stirring occasionally. Add water, reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduce by 2/3rds, approximately 1 hour. Let mixture cool a little and pour into a bender, add cilantro, zest and juice of limes. Blend into a smooth sauce, 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve on tacos or burgers.


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