Poppin’ Jalapeño Burgers

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

In the late summer and early fall, signs up and down the streets of Denver announce “Hatch chili war”, and the air is redolent with the enticing smell of roasting chili peppers.When the jalapeños in this recipe are roasting on the grill, you can close your eyes and transport yourself by smell to the parking lot of Mile High Stadium and some of the most delicious tailgating anywhere. . .


Jalapeño Popper Dressing:
18 medium fresh jalapeños, halved lengthwise, stems and seeds removed
oil to oil grill pan
1 16 ounce tub light cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large fresh jalapeño, minced
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 pounds ground chuck, no more than 85% lean

oil to oil grill rack
6 onion-cheddar soft Kaiser rolls, split
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/8 teaspoon jalapeño powder
2 large ripe California avocados, skin and pits removed, sliced into ¼ inch slices


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make jalapeño popper dressing, brush a vegetable grilling pan (one with holes or slots–if you do not have such a pan, the top part of an oven broiler pan can serve this purpose) with oil, place pan on heated grill, allow to heat for about 5 minutes. Place jalapeños cut side down on heated grill pan, grill 3-5 minutes or until peppers barely begin to char. Turn peppers and repeat. Remove peppers to cutting board and chop coarsely. In a medium grill-safe sauce pan, combine cream cheese, 4-cheese blend and chopped jalapeños. Mix thoroughly. Place pan on heated grill or side burner, heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, stirring periodically. Don’t overheat.

To make the patties, heat canola oil in grill proof skillet over medium grill or on side burner; add onion, garlic, and minced jalapeño and sauté until onion is opaque and slightly soft, 2 to3 minutes. Add water, beef broth, salt, and pepper, stir and cook to blend flavors and reduce liquid, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before adding to meat.

While the dressing is heating, place ground chuck in a large mixing bowl, add cooled onion/garlic mixture, and mix, preferably with your hands, or with a fork. Avoid over-mixing. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties to fit rolls.

Brush grill rack with oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and grill until browned on the bottoms, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until done to preference, about 5 more minutes for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. Thoroughly mix the butter or margarine and the jalapeño powder in a small mixing bowl. Remove the toasted rolls from the grill and spread the cut side of both the tops and the bottoms of the rolls with the butter mixture.

To assemble the burgers, place the bottoms of the rolls on a plate. On each roll bottom, place an equal amount of the sliced avocado, and a patty. Top with a generous dollop of the jalapeño popper dressing. Add the roll tops, cut burgers in half for ease of handling, and serve.