I first fell in love with green Hatch chilies in 2012, when Evan and I spent a romantic week in New Mexico. They're medium spicy with just hint of sweetness, and they get roasted to bring out a lovely smoky flavor. They can be found in every New Mexican restaurant, especially in omnipresent green chili stew.
Also popular in New Mexico is the green chili burger, often topped with cheese. There are several variations of it, some including bacon, pickled jalapeños, and caramelized onions. I'm a big fan, so I decided to make my own version.
Instead of topping the burger with green chilies, I found that infusing the meat with chopped Hatch chilies, a healthy dose of garlic, and a little red onion was the best way to get intense flavor throughout the burger (and it also means that you don't have to worry about toppings slipping off or squishing out and overloading the bun).
If, of course, you can't get Hatch chilies where you live, any other roasted green medium-heat pepper will work just fine. You can even make this with canned roasted jalapeños. Lucky for me though, I had the real thing.
I kept my meat mix simple, so as to really focus on the chili flavor. Just a little garlic, onions, salt, and pepper got added to the ground beef.
I like my burger patties on the round, thick end of the spectrum for maximum juiciness, rather than flat and thin. Go with whatever you like.
I served them topped with some homemade guacamole, alongside some oven sweet-potato fries and a kale salad with a perky apple-cider vinaigrette.
3 large roasted green chilies (preferably Hatch), chopped (1/2 cup, with seeds) $3
2 tablespoons chopped red onion (about 1/8 medium onion) $0.50 for a whole onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped pantry
1 pound ground beef (80/20 or 85/15) $4.50
1/2 teaspoon salt pantry
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper pantry
Fresh guacamole optional
Estimated total cost of ingredients:$8
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Form into 1/4-pound patties (I prefer them round and thick as opposed to flat and thin).
Lightly grease a grill or cast iron pan and heat to medium high.
Grill for 4-5 minutes per side until slightly charred on the outside and cooked mostly through.
Serve topped with the guacamole if using, either plain or on a toasted bun.
Recipe serves 4.