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Tortilla-Wrapped New Mexican Chile Burger

Tortilla-Wrapped New Mexican Chile Burger

While the sight of this recipe alone caught our attention, it wasn’t until we tried it that we realized how truly special this burger creation is. We agree with authors Andy Husbands, Chris Hart, and Andrew Pyenson of Wicked Good Burgers when they recommend not to eat one every day, though.

Click here to see 50 Best Burger Recipes

Ingredients

For the Green Chile Relish

  • 2 New Mexican green chiles (or poblano chiles), roasted, peeled, seeded, stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 Teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the burgers

  • 1 1/2 Pound ground chuck
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 Tablespoons New Mexico Chile Ground
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Oil, for frying
  • 8 slices Pepper Jack cheese, or your favorite cheese
  • 4 burger buns, toasted
  • 4 twelve-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for tortilla wraps

Servings4

Calories Per Serving1220

Folate equivalent (total)192µg48%

Riboflavin (B2)0.7mg42.2%


Recipe Summary

  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds New Mexico or poblano chiles
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin, at room temperature
  • 4 hamburger buns

Light a grill. When the fire is medium hot, brush the grate with oil. Skewer the garlic cloves on a 4-inch bamboo skewer. Grill the chiles and garlic, turning occasionally, until blackened all over, about 6 minutes for the garlic and 15 to 20 minutes for the chiles. Transfer the chiles and garlic to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, core and seed the chiles and cut them into 1/4-inch strips. Peel the garlic cloves.

Transfer the garlic and two-thirds of the chiles to a blender. Add the cilantro, lime juice, cumin, oregano and water and puree until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and transfer to a small saucepan. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the remaining roasted chiles with the cheese.

Shape the meat into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick and season very generously with salt and pepper. Grill the burgers over a medium-hot fire for about 10 minutes, turning once, for medium-rare meat. Move the burgers away from the heat. Brush the cut sides of the buns with oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.&

Set the grilled burgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Top the burgers with the chile-cheese mixture and a generous spoonful of the salsa verde. Cover the green-chile burgers with the buns and serve right away, passing the remaining salsa verde on the side.


New Mexico Green Chile Burgers

1 1/2 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 dash black pepper
1 teaspoon mild ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
4 hamburger buns
4 green chiles, parched, chopped or substitute canned green chiles
4 slices red onion
1 medium tomato, sliced
4 leaves romaine or red lettuce
fresh salsa


Recipe Summary

  • Relish:
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1 medium tomatillo, papery skin removed
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Burgers:
  • 6 (1/2-inch-thick) slices small red onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted

To prepare relish, place first 4 ingredients on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat vegetables with cooking spray. Broil 14 minutes, turning vegetables once. Wrap Cubanelle and serrano in foil let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into 1-inch strips discard peels and seeds. Combine tomatillo, Cubanelle, serrano, garlic, cilantro, and next 5 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt) in a mini food processor pulse until combined.

To prepare burgers, brush onion slices with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Arrange onion in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 6 minutes or until lightly charred, turning once.

Combine mushrooms, 2 garlic cloves, and black beans in a food processor pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped. Add panko and next 5 ingredients (through egg) pulse until combined. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions shape each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan swirl to coat. Add patties cook 12 minutes, turning once. Add cheese to patties during last 2 minutes of cooking cover pan to melt cheese. Place 1 lettuce leaf on bottom half of each bun. Top each lettuce leaf with 1 patty, 1 charred onion slice, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons relish. Top with top halves of buns.


Santa Fe recipes: make a tortilla burger

Lots of images come up when you mention tortilla burgers to people. In Santa Fe it’s a burger and pinto beans wrapped in a flour tortilla then smothered with red or green chile and cheese. Simple but delicious.

Al Lucero, who has owned Maria’s New Mexican Restaurant with his wife Laurie since 1985, says that Maria Lopez invented the tortilla burger one day when she ran out of hamburger buns. Lopez opened Maria’s with her husband Gilbert in 1952. It was a simple roadside stand on Cordova Road, then the outskirts of Santa Fe. The Luceros, the fifth owners, have kept Maria’s wonderful food but added the lavish tequila and margarita list that Maria’s has become so well known for.

Santa Fe's tortilla burger was invented by Maria Lopez when she ran out of burger buns, courtesy Maria's Restaurant

The original tortilla burger was probably smothered in red chile because green didn’t become available year ‘round until the late 1950s. Now it’s possible to get this gut-buster smothered in red or green chile sauce. My favorite is green chile.

My introduction to the tortilla burger was at The Pantry Restaurant and every once in awhile I enjoy the indulgence at one of the many places in Santa Fe that offer them.

If you can’t get to Santa Fe, you can make these delicious burgers at home. My favorite uses green chile sauce, adding chopped green chile along with the beans before wrapping the tortilla around the burger. Cover the tortilla with chile and cheese, put it under the broiler to melt the cheese and you are ready to go!

Tortilla burger with green chile the way they do it at The Pantry, photo Steve Collins

Santa Fe’s Tortilla Burger

2 ground beef patties, a half pound each, cooked to your preference
2 - 10” diameter flour tortillas
Green or red chile sauce (recipes below)
Green chiles (optional)
Pinto beans (recipe below)
Shredded cheddar cheese

To assemble the tortilla burger, lay a tortilla on a cutting board. Place two tablespoons of pinto beans in the center and spread. Put a tablespoon of chopped green chiles on top of the beans and sprinkle two tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese over the beans. Put the cooked burger in the center and fold the tortilla around the burger. Carefully turn the wrapped burger over and put on a plate of that can go in the oven. Generously spread a quarter cup green chile sauce over the tortilla and sprinkle with two of tablespoons the grated cheese. Place the plate under a preheated broiler in the oven and cook until the cheese melts (about two minutes).

Green Chile Sauce (Salsa Verde)

1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
½ medium onion, finely diced
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh New Mexico green chiles, roasted, cleaned of char, and diced.(or substituted frozen ones)
1 cup chicken broth or water

In a saucepan heat the oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and garlic and cook for two minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the green chile and cook for two more minutes. Add the chicken broth, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring as needed. Put in a container with a lid and refrigerate. It will keep for five or six days in the refrigerator. It will also keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Red Chile Sauce (Salsa Roja)

1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
½ onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups water
2 pounds dried red New Mexico chile pods, cleaned of seeds and stems
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour

In a saucepan heat the oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and garlic and cook for two minutes. Add the cumin and salt and cook for another minute. Add the water and the red chiles. Stir well, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Drain the chiles, saving the water. Put the chiles in the blender with enough of the reserved water to blend to a paste. Set aside. In a saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk into the oil to make a roux. Continue to cook until the rawness is cooked out of the flour (ABOUT 2 MINUTES). Add two cups of the reserved liquid and bring to a boil, whisking vigorously to incorporate the roux into the liquid. When the mixture comes to a boil remove from THE heat and stir in the red chile paste. Put in a container with a lid and refrigerate. It will keep for five or six days in the refrigerator. It will also keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Ranch Style Pinto Beans

2 Cups Pinto beans, soaked overnight
Enough water to cover

2 TBS vegetable oil, or lard
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ CUP Onion, finely chopped
2 Fresh jalapeno peppers, stem removed, sliced ½-inch thick
1 tsp. cumin
Salt
Pepper
1 TBS dried New Mexico red chile, in powder form

Put the beans in a cooking pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until soft (approximately two hours). While the beans are simmering, heat the oil or lard in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and jalapeño, and cook until soft, about five minutes. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and dried chile powder. Add mixture to the beans for the last half hour of cooking.

Note: You can use canned pinto beans instead of soaking and cooking the beans. Prepare the seasoning mixture as directed above, add it directly to the beans and simmer to heat throughout, mixing well.

Whether you live in Santa Fe or not you can enjoy a tortilla burger anytime. Do you have a favorite place in Santa Fe to enjoy one?

What are your favorite Santa Fe recipes? We’d love to hear about them.

For more places to get green chile cheeseburgers and tortilla burgers in Santa Fe and New Mexico, check out the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail. Another good NM dining resource is the New Mexico Culinary Treasure Trail.


Green Chile Casserole Recipe!

1 can (10.5 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 pound grated cheese, monterey jack and cheddar
1 cup milk
8 ounces Hatch Green Chile
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10-oz) package corn tortillas, each tortilla cut into eighths

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a saucepan, combine the soup, milk, and the 3/4 of the cheese, reserving the remaining 1/4 for topping the casserole. Once the cheese is melted, stir in the 8 ounces of Hatch Green Chile. In a skillet, brown the beef with the onions. Add in the oregano, garlic powder and salt. In a well greased 9×13 casserole dish, layer half of the tortilla strips. Spread 1/2 of the beef mixture on top, followed by 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top. Bake in preheated oven until heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let the casserole sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Truffle Burgers

Elevate a simple burger with white truffle flavor

Ingredients:
glaze:
1 1/2 cups tawny port
2 Tbsp. White Truffle Oil
1/4 tsp. White Truffle Sea Salt
1 pinch sugar
aioli:
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tbsp. White Truffle Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
burgers:
vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
4 slices Muenster cheese
2 tsp. White Truffle Salt
4 Brioche buns
unsalted butter, melted for brushing buns

Directions:
Make the glaze: Bring the port to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium high heat
Cook until slightly reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes
Remove from heat and whisk in truffle oil, salt and sugar
Allow to cool slightly
Make the aioli: whisk the mayo, truffle oil, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl, set aside
Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat, lightly brush with vegetable oil
Form the beef into 4 3/4 inch patties. Season liberally with White Truffle salt and pepper
Cook until the bottoms are seared 4-5 minutes
Flip and cook about 4 more minutes or to your desired doneness
Top each burger with a slice of cheese, let it melt and remove to a plate
Brush buns with butter and toast in skillet until browned, about 1 minute
To assemble, spread aioli on the bottom buns, top with burgers, whisk glaze and drizzle over the burgers
Cover with top buns and serve immediately


6. Calabacitas

Calabacitas (Spanish for squash) is a traditional late summer / early fall New Mexican dish. It’s mostly seasonal because it’s best when made with fresh ingredients: roasted green chile, summer squash, and corn. It’s one of those quick sautéed vegetable dishes that goes with just about anything and that really celebrates the flavors of its ingredients. New Mexico calabacitas should be in every cook’s recipe box.


I am a food blog

Mike and I went on a little road trip this summer and while seeing the National Parks was inspiring and all, the real reason we hit the road was: green chile cheeseburgers. Have you heard of them?! Maybe not because they’re a New Mexico thing, through and through. Think: regular cheeseburgers but with smoky, slightly spicy, roasted green chile on top. Green chile is the ultimate burger topping that you never knew you were missing out on.

They’re a Southwest invention and in New Mexico, they’re a source of state pride. Green chile cheeseburgers are practically a state symbol and now, when I see the New Mexico flag, a red sun symbol in a field of yellow, I imagine the yellow as cheese and picture the red sun as a green chile. I’m officially obsessed.

Green chile cheeseburgers are such a big deal that the New Mexico tourism board created a green chile cheeseburger trail. That’s right, you can road trip up and down the state and eat your fill of green chile cheeseburgers. Mike was the one who came up with the idea of traveling the green chile cheeseburger trail and I have to admit, at first, I was like, okay but not especially enthused. Mike has been talking about green chile cheeseburgers for years now but they never really hooked me. Until this trip, that is.

Now, we’ve eaten 15 plus GCCs (what I’m calling green chile cheeseburgers from now on) and we can’t stop, won’t stop. Actually, we have stopped to eat chile rellenos, carne adobada, breakfast burritos, and sopapillas, but my heart keeps returning to GCCs.

In the world of GCCs, it seems like there are two camps: the green chili cheeseburger with veggies or without veggies. Generally they also do veggies on the side, so you can add them or not, but the main difference I feel is a smothered style, a la an enchilada or burrito and a regular cheeseburger style. Really though, Mike and I agree, the smothered style GCC isn’t really a GCC at all. After all, of you can’t pick it up with your hands, is it really a cheeseburger?

Now that we’ve eaten our way through New Mexico, I think we can both definitively say that we’re somewhat versed in what makes a great GCC. We rated all the burgers we ate on a five point scale: green chile, patty, cheese, bun, and vegetables. And because I will forever love food graphs and things a little bit nerdy, Mike and I came up with these spider charts of the results. Read on to find out which green chile cheeseburger reigns supreme. And let us know if we missed anything essential – we’re definitely heading back to NM, I’m so addicted to green chile, it’s not even funny.

Side note: green chile cheeseburgers are not the prettiest burgers on the block. To be honest, we had trouble photographing them, that’s why we don’t have clear photos of each burger >__<

This was the order we ate the burgers in:

The Burger Stand at Taos Ale House
This was the first GCC we tried and it did not disappoint. The fire roasted green chile was spicy and good (although I thought there wasn’t enough of it), the patty was a proper medium rare with a good crust and the cheese was a melty pepper jack cheese. I didn’t care too much for the bun but Mike thought it was one of the best buns we had: a buttered toasted brioche. The veggies were also really fresh – a thick slice of white onion, a juicy generous tomato and spicy arugula. All in all a very good burger.

Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe, Taos
This was recommended to us by a local and true to what he said, there was a line out the door even when we arrived right when they opened at 5pm. It’s a classic New Mexican place and while there was a standard green chile cheeseburger on the menu, I went with the Sloppy Bro: an open faced burger with red and green chile. It’s not really fair to compare this to the other green chile cheeseburgers we had on the trail but it was really good! There was an excellent patty to cheese to chili ratio. The patty cooked a juicy medium rare and the chile was plentiful. The cheese was a regular shredded Mexican mix and there were no vegetables and the bun was obviously soggy, but the chile and cheese and burger patty were excellent.

El Parasol, Española
This was by far one of the best green chile cheeseburgers on the trail. The original location is a tiny little takeaway shack in Española, but they’ve expanded to multiple locations, including Los Alamos and Santa Fe. The burgers come wrapped in foil and white wax paper held together with a wooden toothpick. Unwrapping the burger is a little bit like unwrapping a delicious present.

Their hand formed patties are big and juicy, cooked smash and scrape style and the green chile was verdant and piquant – sometimes I felt the like green chile in other burgers weren’t spicy enough, but the green chile in El Parasol’s burger was just right. The bun was buttered and crispy and the American cheese was just the right amount of melty. The vegetables were nothing to write home about, but all together this was a burger that made you want to eat more than one. We actually did eat more than one, basically stopping at every El Parasol in the State. They’re good at all the locations guys.

And bonus: their crispy chicken and guacamole tacos are AMAZING, don’t skip out on them if you go.

Atrisco Cafe & Bar, Santa Fe
This was a big burger cooked medium rare, with a little bit of browning, but not super charred. The green chile was good but somehow got muddled in the burger. On it’s own the green chile was amazing but maybe the ratio of bun to vegetables masked it. The bun was a standard toasted and buttered sesame seed guy and the vegetables were pretty standard too with red onions instead of the white we’d been seeing a lot of. The cheese was a melty cheddar which I think works on some burgers, but kind of got slightly congealed here. All in all a solid GCC but not one of our favorites. That being said, I’d eat this in a heartbeat if it was right here in front of me right now.

The Pantry, Santa Fe
The Panty is a beloved Santa Fe classic with a retro neon sign and a cute diner counter serving up New Mexican comfort food. We went with the Pantry Burger, smothered in chile, cheese, and grilled onions served open face. In retrospect we probably should have gone the make your own burger route and added green chile on top, but hindsight is always 20/20. We got this guy Christmas style (red and green chile) and it was absolutely smothered in chile. The chile was amazing but the burger itself was just standard and the bun was nothing to write home about. The curly fries were awesome though. But, El Parasol is across the street, so…

Rustic on the Green, Albuquerque
There’s a cute little container park type thing in Albuquerque that has a bunch of restaurants, stores, and places to get drinks called Green Jeans. We grabbed a burger at Rustic on the Green, the brick and mortar shop of a very popular ABQ food truck, Rustic 505. Rustic makes a beloved city favorite and this was one of Mike’s favorite GCCs. The veggies were super fresh and crisp and there was plenty of green chile which added a nice layer of heat. The bun was not my favorite and I felt like there was a touch too much mustard but the patty was cooked well and the cheese was nice and melty.

Blake’s Lotaburger, Multiple Locations
Blake’s has been around since the 50s and is beloved in New Mexico, kind of like their version of In-N-Out. Mike and I both were excited to try Blake’s and it didn’t disappoint. We got a double and it was just loaded with certified green and red fire roasted hatch chiles that actually had a bit of spice. The patties were thin and charred, the cheese was American and melty and the whole thing tasted like what you would think a really well thought out delicious GCC would taste like. The inside was pure 50s all red chairs and white formica tabletops and it was nostalgic and retro and cute. Lotaburger was one of our only repeats, possibly because they’re readily available all across the state.

Duran’s, Albuquerque
Duran’s is an old fashioned drug store with a cute little New Mexican restaurant in the back. They’re known for their adobada and not their green chile cheeseburgers, but we soldiered on – we were on a GCC crawl after all. The good thing about Duran’s: unbelievably fluffy and flaky house made tortillas. The not so good thing about Duran’s: the green chile cheeseburger. It wasn’t anything special – the bun was kind of stale and the patty was slightly over cooked. There was a moderate amount of green and red chile but other than that, it should have been skipped. But, the tortillas were totally to die for, so go and get the adobada plate and extra tortillas, you won’t regret it.

Garcia’s Cafe, Albuquerque
If it seems like there are a bunch of Albuquerque staples for New Mexican food, it’s because there are – all with good reason. Garcia’s – it was featured on Breaking Bad once – is one of the places most mentioned with people are looking for classic, good, New Mexican food. Mike got a combination plate but I got a GCC of course. The bun was nicely buttered and toasty, the patty was extra charred which highlighted the smokiness of the chile, which was plentiful. The cheese could have been a bit more melted but it was a solid burger.

MÁS Tapas y Vino, Albuquerque
There’s a green chile cheeseburger smackdown in Santa Fe every year and last year, the Greene Chile Honey Bun from MÁS won. The bun was a house made milk bun and there was a thick slab of honey bacon on top too. The green chile was smoky and on the spicy side. This one one of the rare burgers that didn’t have any vegetables. The patty was thick and super flavorful with a lot of char, but despite asking us how we wanted it cooked (medium-rare, always), it came out on the well done side and was kind of a bit dry, to be honest. The cheese, which was a local cheddar, wasn’t quite as melty as I would have liked.

La Plazuela at La Fonda, Santa Fe
This was another really well regarded New Mexican restaurant. The green chile was good, but kind of on the skimpy side. The patty was excellent though, thick, juicy and a nice rosy medium rare capped off with a melty cheese. Nothing makes me sadder than a cheeseburger with unmelted cheese and so this one definitely passed the test.

Frontier, Albuquerque
Frontier is an all day line up and order at the counter diner that spans a whole city block. It’s right next UNM and there are a ton of students, families, and tourists that head there to eat at all times of the day. Even if the lines are long, they move quickly there’s a board that flashes with your order number when your food is ready. The burger was standard college fair, that is, cheap and somewhat tasty, but when there are so many other excellent GCCs in town, not something that I’d recommend. The only redeeming quality was the amount of green (and red) chile.

The Owl Bar and Cafe
The Owl is a listing on the official New Mexico Tourism board approved Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, but to be honest, we weren’t planning on eating there. Our intention was to hit up the Buckhorn, a super well known GCC. The Buckhorn was closed (it’s supposed to reopen with new owners) so we headed right across the street to The Owl. It’s a super old bar that’s been slinging burgers since the 50s. We got a double meat double chili as a consolation burger for The Buckhorn being closed but we were so blown away that we ordered a second burger after demolishing the first. The patties were thin in the classic smash and scrape style, the bun was toasty, the veggies fresh, the American cheese melty, and the chile was just the right amount of smoke and spice.

Rocking BZ Burgers, Alamogordo
We stopped in White Sands National Park for a night of camping but before we set up our tent, we headed to Alamogordo for a GCC at Rocking BZ Burgers, winner of the Green Chile Cheeseburger Champion at the New ME. We tried the winning burger, “The Champ,” which is a half pound patty, grilled onions, American cheese, green chile, lettuce and tomato. The patty was cooked to a juicy medium rare, the chile was plentiful, and the white American cheese was beautifully melted.

The Burger Nook, Las Cruces
The Burger Nook was another entry on the official GGC highway so of course we had to stop in. It was empty when we got there but it filled up quickly with locals having not one, but two burgers each. They have two sizes, so if you’re feeling particularly hungry, the large will more than satisfy. This was one of the last GCCs that we had and already, Mike and I were waxing nostalgic about how the green chile and cheese went so perfectly with the smash and scrape patty. The bun left something to be desired, but really, it’s all about the chile.

Whew, that was A LOT of green chile cheeseburgers. And the thing is, we definitely missed some that we wanted to eat too. Do you guys have a favorite green chile cheeseburger? Have you every had one? Also, can you answer the eternal question: green chile on top of the cheese or under the cheese?

I can’t wait until we go back to New Mexico. Truly the land of enchantment and chile :)

41 Comments

It looks like you guys hit some great places! I’ll have to check out El Parasol–I’ve never stopped there before, which seems like a very dumb mistake.
The Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe (RIP) made one of the very best green chile cheeseburgers, and its recipes are now made and served at a restaurant called Santa Fe Bite, in Albuquerque. I’ve not been to this particular location, but I’ve heard good things about it. Holy Cow in Albuquerque has a very good green chile cheeseburger, too. Next time at the Frontier, I recommend the Western-style hash browns (hash browns topped with green chile and melted cheese).

santa fe bite was on our list but we didn’t make it :( a reason to go back!


Chile Verde Sauce

Cafe Pasqual’s chile verde is outstanding. For those unfamiliar with chile verde, it is the gravy of New Mexico. We eat green chile on virtually everything sometimes as a sauce, sometimes simply roasted and chopped. Cafe Pasqual’s uses this sauce to smother omelets, eggs, enchiladas and burritos. The uses for this elixir is only limited by the imagination of the chef. I have used it for many things, from augmenting the ‘punch’ of a pizza to using it as a sauce with chips. It is a nice finish on western style hash browns as well. If you add beans and a few other ingredients, it can easily become a soup. Versatile.

Adjust green chile variety to suit heat tolerance. I tend to use a hotter variety, like Sandia for the mild and something with more kick, like Barker for the hotter. Individuals with lower heat tolerance may choose to use milder peppers. Meaty varieties, like Poblanos, are the best substitute, but it does alter the flavor considerably. It isn’t bad, just different…and wimpy by comparison.

For those far from New Mexico, this recipe can be prepared with fresh, frozen, canned or dried green chile, though fresh chile is preferable and can be ordered from The Hatch Chile Store. If using dried green chile, soak it in hot water, covered for 45 minutes to rehydrate, then drain, seed and chop.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups New Mexico green chile (pick your heat, the milder of your choices)
  • 1 cup New Mexico green chile (pick your heat, the hotter of your choices)

Three cups of chile in total. Roast, peel, seed and chop your chile.

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients, except the vegetable oil and flour, in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the juice has thickened and becomes opaque, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Whisk the oil and flour together in a small bowl until smooth to form the base for a roux. Place in a saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly until the roux is slightly brown and has a nutty smell.
  4. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of the green chile mixture to the roux. Whisk until smooth. Add the roux to the remaining chile mixture and cook over low heat for approximately 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add salt to taste.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool.

The sauce can be covered and stored in a non-reactive container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The sauce can be frozen up to two months. Reheat in a non-reactive pan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

Please leave your recipe modifications in the comments. I am a big fan of using a recipe as a baseline, modifying as I go.