the weather gods hate me

they’re always thwarting my best grilling intentions. i wanted yesterday’s holiday barbecue to be spectacular but the second i thought about asking erik to start the grill, the wind started to blow, clouds moved in and rain started to fall. eff you, weather. i’ve got a perfectly good cast iron skillet and a stove who are willing to work with me. so our “barbecue” was pretty spectacular. with or without the grill. suck on that, rainy weather.

so i love that the food magazines i subscribe to are all doing all-grilling menus and recipes for their summer issues. Bon Appetit, Food Network magazine, and Rachael Ray’s rag have all been properly pored over and bookmarked, endless variations of steaks, kabobs, and other such delightful grilled meals are on my June and July calendar of menus and i honestly can’t wait for the sun to come out and stay out so i can cook outside for the next few months. right at the beginning of the last issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray, there is a super sexy picture of a heavenly burger. the accompanying recipe is from Houston’s RDG + Bar Annie and it is truly burger perfection. true story. Enough talking. On to the burger.

Jalapeno Avocado Bacon Burger
recipe adapted from RDG + Bar Annie, via Everyday with Rachael Ray

You need (for making burgers for 2):
ground beef
salt and pepper
a large jalapeno, or 2 smaller serrano chilis (i used serranos since the jalapenos at the store were the suck)
a couple strips of bacon
shredded pepper jack cheese
a heaping Tablespoon of mayo
little bit of buttermilk
diced onion
chopped cilantro
an avocado, pitted and diced up
some lime juice
burger buns
tomato slices

heat up a cast iron skillet. drizzle a small bit of olive oil in the pan. lay your chile peppers down in the pan and let them cook, turning occasionally until they’re blistered all over. take them out and set aside to cool enough to handle. meanwhile, add your bacon strips to the pan and cook, until crisp. remove to a cutting board with the chiles. remove the seeds and membranes from the chiles and dice them up into small pieces. dice your bacon up, too. add half the chile’s and all of the bacon to your ground beef, along with salt and pepper. form patties with the beef mixture. place your patties into the cast iron skillet and cook, turning only once, until they’re cooked to the level of done-ness you like. while that’s going on, combine your avocado with the diced up onion and cilantro. squeeze some lime juice all over this, add a little salt and pepper, and set it aside. in another bowl, place the rest of the diced up chile’s with the mayo. drizzle a little bit of buttermilk into this – just enough to barely thin out the mayonnaise. salt and pepper this mixture, then squeeze a bit of lime juice in there. stir it altogether. after the burgers are cooked through how you like them, add some of your shredded jack cheese on top of the patties and cover with a lid. let the cheese get all melty. toast your burger buns while the cheese is melting. to assemble, place the burgers on the bottom buns. spread your mayonnaise mixture on the top bun. heap some of that avocado-onion mixture on top. place a tomato slice if you want on top of all that. replace your top burger bun. serve with whatever sides you want; i just happened to make our favorite frites to accompany this juicy, spectacular specimen of burger perfection.

* just a quick note – this adaptation is what i had to do to make up for the fact that i couldn’t get the queso fresco called for in the original recipe. also, it’s been scaled way down for 2 people. if you’d like the original recipe that serves 6, please visit this link. i’d like to try that mayo sauce with the queso fresco as it originally is, but i can’t get that kind of queso here. ::sad face::

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