I spent the evening with Carson (my son) last night and decided to make him some sliders. He keeps asking me for “really big hamburgers” and “little hamburgers” in his cute little 2-year-old voice, so I obliged to the latter.
I really wanted a hatch chile burger, and I knew he couldn’t handle the heat so I made him one with tomato and avocado. Along with some french fries.
PREP: I cut 3 yukon gold potatoes into strips, and boiled them with a little vinegar and salt. While they boiled I preheated the griddle for the burgers, put some oil into a big pot, and seasoned the beef with salt and pepper (it’s all you need for beef. Don’t get creative.) Once the potatoes were soft all the way through, I drained them on a towel, and sprinkled them with seasoned salt. I then threw them into the hot oil and fried them until lightly browned. I removed them and drained them on a towel, and let the oil get back up to a slightly higher heat, then threw them in for a second fry. Once browned and crispy, I took them out, drained them, and set them aside.
I then threw a hatch chile onto a baking sheet and put it under the broiler for a couple minutes on each side, then wrapped it in foil to sweat while I cook the beef.
COOK: I always cook burgers on a flat top. I buy 73/27 beef and cooking them on an open flame makes all that beautiful fat disappear. Cooking on a flat top keeps the fat close to the meat, keeping it juicy. You can use 80/20 if you want. I used to, but have since discovered my preference for 73/27 (which works really well for taco meat also). My technique for cooking burgers is to roll the meat into 1/4lb balls and set them on the flat top (on HIGH heat. The hotter, the better) to let them brown on the bottom for a minute, then I flip the ball over, and press the burger as flat as I can. The sear mark helps keep the burger from swelling up in the middle as it cooks, and it also keeps the beef from sticking to your spatula. I’m not going to lie, I learned this method by watching the grill cooks at Steak-N-Shake. You can’t ignore success.
That being said, I will always prefer a thin, salty, greasy burger patty to a thick, dry, meatloaf style patty. Thick burgers have absolutely no appeal to me. Nor does seasoning the beef with anything beyond salt and pepper. Simplicity is key, and so is balance of flavors. Thin patties give you much more control over flavor balance in the final sandwich than a thick patty. Not only that, but layering thin patties with cheese gives you that incredible, juicy, flavorful characteristic in the burger. Thick patties tend to overwhelm the burger, and are often on the dry side. I can’t begin to explain the science behind it, so I won’t. I just don’t like the beef flavor to overwhelm the burger. I put other ingredients on the sandwich for a reason. They deserve some of the spotlight as well.
Once the burgers are brown and cripsy and flat, I throw a slice of white american on each patty, and I use the technique most of you may have seen on Triple D…I take a small metal bowl, or pot lid, squirt some water on the griddle next to the patty, and cover it. The steam melts the cheese quickly and adds a little extra moisture to the patty.
At some point during the patty cooking process, I take 4 joined Kings Hawaiian Sweet Hawaiian rolls, slice them in half to make a hamburger bun, and throw them onto a buttered flat top to toast the inside.
Finally I slice up a tomato, avocado, and the roasted and peeled hatch chile.
ASSEMBLY: I take the toasted bottom of the kings hawaiian bun, and put two patties on top of it, then add the sliced tomato and avocado. I sprinkled a little salt and garlic powder on top, and a touch of mayo, then the top bun, and cut the sandwich into fourths, serving the fries between the sliders.
For the green chile sliders, I put the two patties on the bun, topped with the hatch chiles, a little salt, and mayo.
REVIEW: AMAZING! There are days where I completely amaze myself, and this meal is no exception. They were cheesy and juicy and packed with so much flavor. The balance of the salty patty, the fatty cheese and beef, the heat from the hatch chiles, and the sweet from the bun was absolutely on par.
The tomato avocado burgers were just as awesome. The tomatoes added a nice cool freshness, and the avocado added this perfect buttery creaminess. Absolutely divine.
I seriously doubt I could improve on the burgers, nor would I really want to try. They are absolutely everything I’d want in a burger.
The fries could have done without the vinegar. I also need to figure out a method to keep my fries from getting soggy and limp. The color was perfect, but no one likes limp fries. Regardless, they’re not the ones on trial here, so the 5 stars stay. 🙂
4 4-bun segments of Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, sliced.
1lb 73/27 ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 slices white american cheese
roasted, sweated, peeled, diced hatch chile (for hatch sliders)
1 tomato, sliced (for tomato/avocado sliders)
1 avocado, sliced (for tomato/avocado sliders)
garlic salt (for tomato/avocado sliders)
1. Preheat griddle or pan on high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and shape into 1/4lb balls. Slice tomato and avocado. Roast, sweat, peel, and dice your hatch chile. Salt to taste.
2. Place beef onto super hot griddle and sear for 20-30 seconds, then flip and press the burger flat to the griddle. The thinner the better.
3. Cook 1-2 minutes per side. After first flip, apply sliced american cheese to each patty to melt.
4. While burgers finish grilling, lightly butter the inside of the sliced sweet rolls and add to the super hot griddle to toast.
5. Remove beef and buns from griddle, and assemble.
5a. Tomato/Avocado Sliders: top beef patty with sliced tomato, sliced avocado, a sprinkle of garlic salt to taste, and slather the top bun with mayo before closing the sandwich.
5b. Hatch Slider: top patty with diced roasted hatch chiles. Slather top bun with mayo and close.
6. Slice the burger into quarters and serve with fries.
[tweaked and untested] French Fries Recipe:
3 large yukon gold potatoes, sliced into fries
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar (optional)
1 tsp salt
canola oil for frying
1. Boil potato strips in 3-quart pot with water, vinegar, and salt for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove carefully and drain on paper towels.
2. Spread potatoes out on baking sheet and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until frozen solid.
3. heat oil in large pot to 350°F. Add frozen fries and cook 3-5 minutes or until they’re almost golden brown and delicious. Remove from oil and drain.
4. Allow oil to return to 425°F. Toss fries in oil breifly to finish browning. Promptly remove golden fries from oil and drain on towel.
5. Spread out on cooling rack placed inside a baking sheet (this allows the fries to cool and drain without getting soggy). Salt liberally.
6. Serve and enjoy!