Monday, September 01, 2008

Jalapeno Cheeseburgers with Bacon and Grilled Onions

As a foodie, yet a vegetarian (pescetarian), sometimes I see a recipe that is meaty but sounds soooooo good, so I try my best to vegetarianize it. Sometimes this works really well. Sometimes it does not. Unfortunately, tonight I really butchered (lol pun) a recipe that I'm certain would be delicious in its traditional meaty form. As such, I will post the original recipe so that you meatatarians can make it for yourselves.

Our changes: OK instead of the super-flavorful glazed burger, I used a regular Boca Burger. Instead of crispy bacon, we used Morningstar Farms fake bacon. I still made the sauce, and I used a delicious Wisconsin sharp cheddar. It just wasn't as good as it would have been otherwise. Oh well! Good try.

Our burger:

What the burger was supposed to look like, if made with meat:
real burger

Jalapeno Cheeseburgers with Bacon and Grilled Onions
Bon Appetit, July 2005

The little green chile makes an appearance in the burger and in its creamy ranch sauce.

Spicy Ranch Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chile
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño chile
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Worcestershire-Coffee Glaze
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
2 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter

16 bacon slices

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 hamburger buns or 3- to 4-inch square focaccia rolls, split horizontally
8 lettuce leaves
2 cups coarsely shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Assorted additional toppings (such as tomato and grilled onion slices)

For spicy ranch sauce:
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

For burgers:
Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Form mixture into eight 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place on small baking sheet. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

For glaze:
Stir first 5 ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat until coffee is dissolved. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter. Season glaze to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Working in batches if necessary, cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray. Toast buns until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer buns, cut side up, to plates. Place lettuce on each bun bottom. Grill burgers 5 minutes, basting with glaze. Turn burgers, baste with glaze, and grill until cooked to desired doneness, about 5 minutes longer for medium. Press cheese atop each burger and allow cheese to melt. Place some sauce, then 1 burger on each bun bottom. Top each with 2 slices bacon and desired additional toppings. Cover with bun top. Serve with remaining sauce.

Yield: 8 burgers

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