It’s almost that time. The Big Game and the end of football season until pre-season in August. Most wives are happy about this, while some of us mourn the time of year from February until August by attempting to watch other sports. However, those sports just don’t hold a candle to football, and NOTHING holds a candle to the spread that comes with the big game. I whipped up these chipotle burgers, chipotle aioli and jalapeno poppers using ingredients from the La Morena line from my local Pete’s Fresh Market. SIDEBAR: I LOVE Pete’s for a myriad of reasons, but a one stop shop for those specialty ingredients remains the top reason that I love shopping there. La Morena is a leader in authentic Mexican flavors, especially in the peppers and chiles arena, so it’s no surprise that they were able to make my already fabulous burgers taste so wonderful. The ladybug came through with the slow clap while slowly shaking her head and everything after she was done eating these.
These burgers are easy to make, and don’t take a long time to mix up. They are kicked up a notch with the chipotles in adobo sauce from La Morena. It adds a bit of punch to the already flavorful mix of beef, worcestershire sauce, garlic and seasonings and leaves you wanting more, more, more. Kind of like football. Always wanting more when you can’t have any. For months. It’s a cruel, cruel world that we live in. Especially for us Chicagoans, for obvious reasons.
The burgers are so juicy, and so darn GOOD! Just to make you all salivate even more, I added some chipotle aioli sauce to the mix, and it’s PERFECT for dipping, or spreading on toasty bread that’s going to nestle a great big burger and a thick slice of tomato with cheesy goodness. Y’all, these are so good! They are good enough and BIG enough to keep even the hungriest fotball fan satisfied so that they can focus on the big game, and they are super simple so you can enjoy as well. Topping them off with the chipotle aioli really sealed the deal. Using a French condiment with a chipotle flavor turned this into a fully Latin flavored fusion, and something that we will make over an over again.
Now lets talk about these jalapeno poppers. I cheated a bit and instead of using fresh jalapenos, I used the pickled jalapenos from the La Morena line. Slicing them in half and filling them with a bacon cheese concoction that I’m sure I tasted somewhere else, and had to have again. You can even do a variation with wrapping them in bacon, or coating them to deep fry (which I did not) to fill the need for all fried foods to eat dring the game.
- 3 slices of thick cut bacon cut in half
- 2 pounds ground beef (I use a mix of chuck and sirloin)
- 3 tbsp sauce from La Morena chipotles in adobo sauce (reserve the rest for the chipotle aioli)
- 2 of the chipotles from the chipotle in adobo sauce chopped finely
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp flavorful steak or beef seasoning (I used a private label from Chicago)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced finely
- one large beefsteak tomato
- 3 slices monterey jack cheese
- 3 large kaiser buns
- 2 tbsp butter
- Mix beef, sauce, chipotles, worcestershire sauce, seasoning an garlic together in a bowl until everything is incorporated thoroughly.
- Take one cup of the burger mixture and form into a ball and then form patties about 1 inch thick. TIP: Make the outer part of the burger thicker than the middle so that they don’t shrink while frying.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the six pieces of bacon (3 slices cut in half) until crispy. Remove from skillet and drain leaving a bit of the oil behind to fry the burgers in.
- Fry the burgers on each side for two minutes for a warm pink center. Longer if you want well done.
- Remove cooked burgers and place on plate with paper towels to drain fat.
- Remove remaining oil from the skillet and wipe clean and place back on medium low heat.
- Melt butter a table spoon at a time and toast the kaiser buns until crisp around the edges.
- Slather with chipotle aioli and build your burger the way you see fit. Have fun with it! Other toppings include avocado slices, crisp lettuce, extra peppers (if you like it spicy) or anything else you can imagine. I topped mine with monterey jack cheese, a thick slice of tomato and two pieces of bacon (or one slice for you party poopers)
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Remaining portion of La Morena chipotles in adobo sauce about 2 tbsp
- Using a food processor, combine all of the ingredients up to the olive oil and process until smooth.
- While still running, slowly drizzle olive oil until the mixture is emulsified
- After the mixture has turned to the consistency of mayonnaise, add the chipotle sauce and continue to mix, until fully incorporated. All done! Use on the burgers and as a dipping sauce for fries or as a condiment for fish, chicken or beef! I’ll be using the rest of mine for a meatloaf glaze, yum! You can store extra in the refrigerator.
- 1 can of La Morena Pickled Peppers
- 1/2 brick of softened cream cheese
- 1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican blend, or chihuahua work wonderfully)
- 3 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
- Open can of pickled peppers and slice all peppers in half.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees
- Remove seeds and white membrane to cut some of the heat.
- Mix both cheeses and the crumbled bacon in a bowl until fully incorporated.
- Spoon mixture into halved peppers and place on sheetpan.
- Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly (remember, the peppers are pickled so they don’t need to soften)
- Remove and serve with aioli.