Thursday, June 30, 2011

A little Fiesta... Southwestern burgers with spicy mayo

I was in the mood for a nice burger this week and had a few friends over for a BBQ last night.  I am a huge fan of spicy food and I thought it would be the perfect time to perfect my Southwestern burger.

Burgers are so fun because you can always switch it up by using different ingredients.  I don't just make simple burgers anymore... at the very least I season them with pepper, garlic, and some other dried herbs.  Seasoning your burger meat takes seconds and really ups the flavor!  When you cook at home (instead of ordering at a restaurant)  you can control what ingredients you use, so you can create healthier meals!  Plus it is easier to avoid the super-sized french fries that are so tempting!  Choose leaner meats to make your burgers (Lean chicken, lean turkey, 90% lean beef) to cut down on extra fat and calories.
Now grilling is truly an art and I have just started to appreciate how wonderful and tricky it can be, so hang in there.

I know this probably goes without saying but... make sure you wash your hands before and after touching raw meat!  I am reviewing my microbiology notes and most food borne illnesses can be prevented by proper cooking and good hygiene!

Southwestern Burgers with Spicy Mayonnaise 
Serves 4

1 pound of lean beef (85, 90, or 93% lean)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or pepperjack cheese
1 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried cilantro
Pepper, to taste
1 fresh jalepeno, chopped

Spicy Mayonaise:
2 Tbsp light or low fat mayo
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp Chipotle in Adobo sauce (found in grocery stores)
Hot sauce, to taste (I used Arizona Gunslinger Sauce)

4 buns
Lettuce, Tomato, Vidalia Onion, Pickles

Mix all ingredients for the spicy mayo and put in the refrigerator.  Fire up your grill and allow it to preheat before you scrape it.  Mix all ingredients for the burgers in a large bowl (by hand) and form into 4 patties.  Grill over medium to medium-high heat (with the cover on).  This keeps the burgers moist and they cook more evenly.  Cook burgers for ~5 minutes (you should start seeing juices collect on top, now you can flip it) then cook 3-4 more minutes or until it reaches an internal temp of 160.  Again, every grill is different so these times are not exact... use your eyes and best judgement!  Your goal is to only flip the burgers once (that seems to take the most amount of practice)!  Place the buns on the grill for 1 minute, so they are warm and a little toasted.  To put the burger together... Place the patty on the bun, top with spicy mayo and your choice of fixings and enjoy your juicy spicy burger!

Nutrition Facts: (1 4 oz burger with bun, 2 tsp spicy mayo)
~450 calories, 34 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 24 g fat, 500 mg sodium

 Don't forget the volleyball or other summer activities to stay active and keep your metabolism up! :)
Tune in for a homemade veggie burger recipe (coming soon.. the next time I fire up the grill)

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