You know how sometimes you get really into enjoying a certain style of food? Well, maybe not just “sometimes.” The point is, you get so into it that you forget or exclude other foods… maybe you even “poo poo” them, talk them down, give them a bum rap, get their gristle on.
This can even happen with individual ingredients, and so it had with me and the Anaheim pepper.
For the longest time, I thought of the Anaheim as a “lightweight” chili… it’s pretty low, certainly, on the Scoville scale (500 – 5,000 according to wikipedia), and why would you choose an Anaheim when you could have a Jalapeno or a Habanero? You know, a manly chili pepper!
But I was doing a little reading, and stumbled on an idea about meatloaf… but I applied it to burgers… burgers with a difference! And, Oh! what a difference!
So much of cooking is figuring out how to impart the most flavor, without having one aspect of a dish overpower another. Balance. Intensity. It’s a fine line… a lot of “ins” a lot of “outs” a lot of “what-have-yous”.
The simple idea that I found in my reading was to make puree out of ingredients that you wanted to use to add flavor, but not alter the texture of the dish. I immediately thought of my burgers, which I generally mix up with minced onion and garlic and peppers… that my daughter complains about!
The plan was simple: puree up some onion and jalapeno, mix it up with some burger meat, and grill away! But, the jalapeno was way overpowering… even for someone like me who loves spice… and this was even after trimming out the seeds and inner flesh. So, I turned to the Anaheim, and fell in love all over again.
Using a puree of onion and Anaheim, the finished burgers were so juicy and flavorful! Perfect onion flavor, a fruity/nutty thing from the Anaheims… Even my daughter loved them… the comment was, “Well, I guess I like onion flavor, just not chunks of onion.” Puree = magic! I think anytime I want an infusion of flavor, a simple puree may be just the way to go.
2 pounds ground beef (80%)
1 pound ground pork (80%)
2 Anaheim peppers
1 small, white onion
Salt & pepper to taste
8 slices American cheese
8 lovely rolls, lightly toasted or grilled
Cut up the Anaheims, removing the seeds. Quarter the onion. Add to the blender with some salt and pepper. Puree.
Combine all ingredients, mix with hands until more or less uniform. Form into 8 patties.
Get the grill up to decent heat (high, or 500F). When placing the patties, push a thumb-sized dimple into the center (this keeps the burger from becoming rounded). Grill for 3-5 minutes. Turn. Grill another 2-3 minutes, then add cheese. Finish for 1-2 final minutes.
Personally, I serve them with a bit of mayo and sliced avocado, but the possibilities are endless!