Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dave Giffin’s Killer Jalapeno Bacon Hamburgers

It is finally warming up here in the Northwest and I’m loving it! Time to dust off my favorite summer recipes, shut up the house, and do all my cooking on the grill. Summer, in my mind, is the time for hamburgers—freshly cooked, outside, with bits of charcoal mixing with the juiciness of the burger. If you add in baked beans and some potato salad…what could be better?

For years, I made my burgers pretty much the same way every year—burger, a bit of finely chopped onion, salt and ground pepper, and sometimes a little garlic powder. Then I met Dave and it goes without saying that my burgers will never be the same again!

Before I share his recipe, which he graciously gave me permission to do, let me tell you a bit about him. Dave is one of those extraordinary individuals, people like me dream of meeting. A kitchen kindred spirit…a dump cook…a guy who dreams up recipes and rattles them off the top of his head…a little bit of this and a bit of that, and...Voilà! Magic! Every time I see him, he has some new recipe he is perfecting, and he’s not afraid to try things in combinations that an ordinary person wouldn’t dream of.

The following recipe yields, in my opinion, the best, most favorable burger I’ve ever tasted. Feel free to be creative with the proportions. For those of you worried about the jalapeno…don’t be. In this recipe, it adds flavor, not heat. Enjoy!

One last thing...thinking of family traditions and hamburgers, I'm reminded that my grandfather ate peanut butter on his burgers. I'm curious, what's the strangest thing you've ever eaten on a hamburger?

Dave Giffin’s Killer Jalapeno Bacon Hamburgers

2-4 jalapeno peppers—seeded and deveined
4-5 cloves of garlic
2 lbs burger (your choice of kind, [grins] living in N. Idaho, we use ½ elk-½ beef)
1-2 lbs of bacon—cooked crisp
½-1 onion
salt and pepper

Pulse peppers, garlic, bacon, and onion in a food processor until you have a fine dice. Mix into burger, and add salt and pepper. Form into patties and grill. Serve with the usual hamburger condiments of buns, lettuce, tomato, relish, ketchup, and mustard.

Variation: If you like cheese with your burgers, try adding 1+ cup of sharp cheddar, jack, or crumbled blue cheese to burger before forming into patties.

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