Kettle Chips and Chili Flavored Burgers with Avocado Salsa


1-1.25 ounce McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix (Other brands of prepackaged chili mixes work well.)

1 large to medium avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4 inch chunks
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed limejuice
½ cup peeled and seeded, fresh ripe tomato coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus 2 tablespoons for the patties)
½ cup finely chopped red onion
3 garlic gloves finely minced
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus ½ tsp for the patties)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus ½ tsp for the patties)

1 ½ pound ground chuck
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Sutter Home, Family Vineyards, Merlot, California 2004
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup finely crushed Lay’s Kettle Cooked-Jalapeno Flavored Potato Chips

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6-Kaiser rolls, split



Preheat a gas grill to a medium-high heat. Place an 8-inch grill safe skillet (I use a cast iron skillet) on the preheated grill and let it reach medium heat. Add the entire contents of the chili package to the preheated skillet and toast the chili seasonings for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the toasted seasonings from the grill and allow to completely cool.

Prepare the salsa while the toasted chili seasonings cool. Slice the avocado into halves, remove the pit and remove the fruit of the avocado. Cut the avocado into ¼ inch chunks and add into a 2-quart mixing bowl. Add the fresh squeezed limejuice to the avocado chunks and toss. Make sure to coat all of the avocado chunks. Next add the tomato, the cilantro, red onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the avocado salsa until well mixed and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving on top of the finished burgers.

To prepare the patties, add the ground chuck, cilantro, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, wine, salt and pepper into a 3-quart mixing bowl. Next add 2 teaspoons of the toasted chili seasonings. Before mixing the beef with the other ingredients begin crushing the potato chips. Place about 2 cups of potato chips into a large “zip lock” plastic bag and close the bag. Beat the bag with the blunt side of a meat mallet or rolling pin until all of the chips are finely crushed. Measure ¾ cups of crushed chips and add to the beef mixture. Repeat the potato chip crushing procedure if more chips are needed for the full measurement. Incorporate the beef with the other ingredients by mixing with your hands. Take care not to over mix the meat mixture. Divide the beef mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties that will meet the size of the rolls.

When the grill has been preheated to a medium high heat, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill and cover. Allow the burgers to cook to desired doneness turning only once during the cooking process. For a medium cooked burger, allow 6 to 7 minutes cook time for each side. Remove cooked burgers to a platter and allow to rest while toasting the buns. Place the split buns cut side down on the grill and toast for about one minute or until the buns are light brown in color.

To assemble burgers, place one patty on each of the bun bottoms and top with about three tablespoons of avocado salsa. Place the bun tops on each of the burgers and serve immediately.

This recipe makes 6 hamburgers.