The classic American cheeseburger is taken to new heights with this Tex-Mex version that includes jalapeño-laced Monterey Jack cheese. Mixing the cheese right in to the burger is the secret to keeping the burgers moist even when cooked through. The burgers do have a tendency to stick to the grill so be sure to oil the grate before cooking. This recipe was adapted from the king of the grill, Steven Raichlen. Beer Recommendations: The heat from the peppers and the richness of the cheese calls for a solid ESB with a hoppy aroma and slightly sweet & citrusy tang like Young’s Special London Ale. If you are searching for a beverage that is not quite so hoppy try a dark lager like Negra Modello for a smooth finish that is sure to please all.
- 3 large fresh jalapenos or 3 large fresh serrano peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, plus
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- kosher salt
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground sirloin, room temperature
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack pepper cheese, shredded
- fresh ground pepper
- 4 hamburger buns or 4 onion topped buns
- olive oil, for brushing
- 2 -3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 head boston lettuce, washed, dried and torn or 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or 4 slices tomatoes, thinly sliced
- sliced pickled jalapeno pepper, for serving
- Using a food processor or blender, combine fresh jalapeños with 1/2 cup cilantro, garlic, lime juice, water, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and a pinch of salt. Process the jalapeño-cumin sauce until pureed and smooth.
- Place sirloin, shredded cheese, remaining cilantro and cumin in a bowl and gently knead until JUST combined. Loosely shape into 4 equal burgers, poking any stray strands of cheese back into the pattie.
- Season generously with salt and pepper and place on a plate lined with saran wrap. Lightly brush the insides of the buns with olive oil.
- Light a grill and brush oil on the grate to keep the cheeseburgers from sticking. Grill the cheeseburgers for about 8-10 minutes, turning once, for medium meat. Remove the cheeseburgers from direct heat and grill the buns (cut side down) until they are toasted.
- Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on bottoms and tops of buns. Set the cheeseburgers on the bottom halves and top with the lettuce, tomato and pickled jalapeños. Spoon the jalapeño sauce on the burgers, top with the buns and serve immediately. Serve remaining sauce in a small dish on the side.