Nacho CheeseBurger

Because life is short and summer is coming and you can never have too many burgers in your grilling repertoire, I’m following up last week’s stellar salmon burger with this week’s stunning Nacho CheeseBurger.  Yes, it’s a burger encore, folks, and I’m pretty excited about this one.

All credit here goes to Bobby Flay for its invention, and it’s nothing short of genius.  Boy howdy were these ever good.  I did end up having to make a couple of refinements to the recipe that I’ve noted in the recipe headnote.   But every component of this burger, including pickled jalapenos (do not leave these out!), blue corn tortilla chips, nacho cheese sauce and a delicious salsa contributes something special and combine beautifully to create this southwestern nacho-esque burger extravaganza.

If I didn’t know it before, I am completely convinced now that Mr. Flay is a master of creating extraordinary balance of flavors and textures.  The creaminess of the cheese sauce serves as a perfect foil for the spicy salsa which is offset superbly by the pickled jalapenos.  Adding the crunch of blue corn tortilla chips is just, like I said, genius.  I have to admit that I cut back on the amount of heat in the salsa recipe, but if you’re one of those who prefers to have your hair explode in flames, go ahead and add the full chipotle in adobo called for.

At first glance, these burgers may look like a bit of work to put together, but both the salsa and cheese sauce can be made a day or two ahead, leaving you with just the grilling and assemblage on the day of.

So once you have your components all ready, here’s how to assemble these puppies…

Place your burger on the bottom bun, top with the nacho cheese sauce, that yummy salsa, pickled jalapenos (do not leave these out!) and then some blue corn tortilla chips and the bun topper.  Then grab a whole bunch of napkins; you’re gonna need ‘em.  Here’s the recipe...

Nacho CheeseBurger

This is simply one of the best burgers around.  Each component brings something special to the party.  The only problem I encountered with the original recipe was that the cheese sauce turned out too thin.  I have reduced the amount of milk to 1 cup instead of 1 ½ and it comes out just right.  I made a few other changes which I’ve noted in the recipe below.  Oh, and here’s a little tip for working with chipotles in adobo that a reader shared with me.  After opening the can, I run the whole thing through the blender (well, not the can), and place in a sealed container and back into the fridge.  To use, 1 tablespoon equals about 1 chipotle pepper.

Click here for a printable recipe

Salsa:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced (I used ½)
3 plum tomatoes, finely diced
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt

Nacho Cheese Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1  cup milk
6-8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino cheese
Salt freshly ground
pepper

Burgers:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (I used ground turkey)
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Sliced pickled jalapeños and blue corn tortilla chips, for topping

MAKE THE SALSA
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients and season with salt.

MAKE THE CHEESE SAUCE
 In a saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over moderate heat for 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in the Jack cheese until melted, then stir in the pecorino; season with salt and pepper. Let cool until spreadable.

MAKE THE BURGERS
Light a grill. Form the ground meat into 4 patties and brush with oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat until browned outside and medium within, 4 minutes per side. Place the burgers on the buns, top with the cheese sauce, salsa, jalapeños and chips, and serve.

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