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Kettle Chips and Chili Flavored Burgers with Grilled Veggies

There is nothing like a hot bowl of chili on a cold fall day. Why not pull out the grill, enjoy the fall foliage and put your chili on a bun! The melted cheese is like topping your chili with grated cheese. The sweet, roasted flavor of the grilled veggies give the burger a warm, comfortable feel and taste. Spice up a cold fall day with chili on a bun and a glass of good red wine.


1-1.25 ounce Chili Seasoning Mix
1 ½ pound ground chuck
2-tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Sutter Home, Family Vineyards, Merlot, California 2004
½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus extra for seasoning veggies)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus extra for seasoning veggies)
¾ cup finely crushed kettle cooked-Jalapeno Flavored Potato Chips Toppings:
2 red peppers, cored and seeded
1 large red onion
3-tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, used for brushing on the grill rack
6 slices Colby Jack cheese
6-Kaiser rolls, split


Preheat a gas grill to a medium-high heat. Place an 8-inch grill safe skillet (I use a cast iron skillet) on the preheated grill and let it reach medium heat. Add the entire contents of the chili package to the preheated skillet and toast the chili seasonings for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the toasted seasonings from the grill and allow to completely cool. To prepare the patties, add the ground chuck, cilantro, shallots, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, wine, salt and pepper into a 3-quart mixing bowl. Next add 2 teaspoons of the toasted chili seasonings. Before mixing the beef with the other ingredients begin crushing the potato chips. Place about 2 cups of potato chips into a large “zip lock” plastic bag and close the bag. Beat the bag with the blunt side of a meat mallet or rolling pin until all of the chips are finely crushed. Measure ¾ cups of crushed chips and add to the beef mixture. Repeat the potato chip crushing procedure if more chips are needed for the full measurement. Incorporate the beef with the other ingredients by mixing with your hands. Take care not to over mix the meat mixture. Divide the beef mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties that will meet the size of the rolls. Slice the red peppers into ½ inch rings. Discard the top and bottom portions for the peppers. Slice the red onion into ½ inch rings, keeping the whole ring slice intact. Brush both sides of all vegetable slices with the olive oil. Season each side with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper as well. When the grill has been preheated to a medium high heat, brush the grill rack with the vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill and cover. Allow the burgers to cook to desired doneness turning only once during the cooking process. For a medium cooked burger, allow 6 to 7 minutes cook time for each side. Just before the burgers are done cooking, top each patty with one slice of cheese. While the burgers a cooking, grill the veggies. On another section of the grill, place the veggie slices on the grill rack and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until the veggie slices are slightly charred. Remove roasted veggies to a platter and allow to rest while toasting the buns. Place the split buns cut side down on the outer edges of the grill and toast for about one minute or until the buns are light brown in color. To assemble burgers, place one patty on each of the bun bottoms. Top each burger with one onion slice and then evenly distribute the red pepper slices on top of the onion. Place the bun tops on each of the burgers and serve immediately. This recipe makes 6 hamburgers.


Experiment with this recipe by trying different brands of chili seasonings. Use leftover chips as an appetizer and serve leftover wine. The recipe uses only 2 tablespoons. Uncork a new bottle for the burgers and enjoy the rest of the bottle with your quests, who will be feasting on our delicious chili burgers.