RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Goat Cheese Burgers with Hatch-up

The Hatch chile is truly a unique and special delicacy that should absolutely be celebrated when in season and when you can find them. This recipe showcases its beauty both in the green catsup-like sauce (the "Hatch-up") and within the burger itself, and uses the goat cheese to balance out the tangy flavors of the chile. Note that you can usually select between hot and mild Hatch chiles, depending on your preference for spice, and Anaheim (hotter) or Poblano (milder) chiles can be substituted for the Hatch chiles, if they are not available. The Sutter Home Gewurztraminer is a perfect pairing for a spicy version of this burger; for milder versions, try the Sutter Home Chenin Blanc (yes, white wine with red meat – trust me and try it).

Ingredients 

Pre-prep for both Hatch-up and burgers:
1 full bulb garlic
3T Colavita extra virgin olive oil
6 Hatch Chiles (mild or hot, depending on preference. Anaheim (hot) or Poblano (mild) chiles may be substituted if Hatch chiles are not available)
Hatch-up:
2 quarts water
6 tomatillos
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
Burgers:
1 ½ pounds lean ground chuck (15% fat content ground beef)
½ pound ground pork
1 – 3.5 oz log Chèvre (Goat) cheese
Bread:
1 loaf French bread
¼ cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil
Garnish:
1 California avocado
Salt to taste

Instructions 

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to high. Cut the full bulb of garlic in half across its width, and place on 12” square sheet of tin foil. Pour one tablespoon of the olive oil onto the lower half of the bulb, and restore the top to the bulb. Wrap the foil sheet firmly around the garlic and place onto the grill in a cooler portion of the grill (edge of the charcoal grill or near the front of a gas grill) away from direct heat. Allow to roast undisturbed for 20 minutes, and then remove the garlic from the grill and allow to cool. While garlic is roasting, prepare the chiles for roasting. Coat chiles with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Place them on the hottest part of the grill over direct heat – note that it is okay if they catch on fire. Close the lid to extinguish flame, and check frequently. Once the chiles blister on one side turn immediately and roast the other side. After the chile is fully blistered, remove from heat, cover plate with foil, and allow to cool. Overall roasting should take approximately 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill. Allow charcoal grill to cool to medium-hot, or reduce gas grill to medium high. Meanwhile, boil the water in a medium saucepan. Remove the paper husks from the tomatillos and place in water, reducing heat to a simmer. Add one tablespoon of the vinegar and a pinch of salt to the water. Allow tomatillos to simmer until they just begin to burst and are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain off water and add tomatillos to a blender (a spider would work nicely to extract the tomatillos). Take three of the roasted chiles, scrape off the charred skins, and remove the tops and seeds from the interior. Add roasted chile flesh to the blender. Extract 3-5 cloves of the roasted garlic (depending on taste) and add them to the blender as well. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and the cilantro, and blend to a fine puree. Season to taste with salt and reserve. Strain Hatch-up through coarse strainer to remove seeds (completely optional) and refrigerate. Add beef and pork to a large mixing bowl. Clean remaining 3 chiles, chop flesh coarsely, and add to bowl. Remove 3-5 (depending on taste) additional cloves of roasted garlic, chop finely, and add to bowl. Add two tablespoons chile Hatch-up (prepared above) and blend until just mixed, and form into 12 equal balls. The meat will be somewhat sticky – this is okay. Cut goat cheese log into six equal discs. Take one of the meat balls from above, flatten, and place one of the discs of cheese on top of it. Flatten a second ball, and cover cheese to create a burger with the cheese in the middle. Repeat five more times to yield six burgers. Grill on medium hot fire until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, approximately 4 minutes a side. Cut bread along a bias into 12 slices about ½” thick (may not use entire loaf of bread). Add remaining garlic (or some of it, depending on taste) to the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Brush both sides of the bread with garlic-olive oil mixture and toast on grill, approximately one minute per side. Cut avocado in half, remove pit, and remove the skin, being careful not to damage the flesh of the avocado. Cut halves into thin strips along the length of the avocado. Assemble burger by placing patty on bread, lay avocado strips to cover, douse generously with Hatch-up, and add final slice of bread. Makes 6 burgers.

Comments 

Hatch-up can be made up to a week in advance and will store for two weeks in the refridgerator (its great on fries). Note that you may have to roast chiles and garlic anew if you do make Hatch-up in advance, or you could simplify the recipe and omit the roasted chile and garlic from the burger. Substitutions for Hatch chiles are acceptable as noted. For additional spice, add a couple of serrano peppers to the catsup. Burgers can be served open-face on just a single piece of bread.