Route 66 Burgers – The Maverick Cookbook
Throughout my life, I’ve been so fortunate to eat my way through the far reaches of this world and their many unique flavors. I’ve eaten pili pili in Congo, pizza in Naples and tostones in Nicaragua. Although I could probably happily live off of sushi alone, my heart belongs to the flavors of the south. Whether it’s Central American chilies, fruits and seafood, or the flavors of our own American Southwest, I am guaranteed to have a really unreasonable amount of passion for the flavors. I could do without ketchup in my life in place of salsa and would happily replace pancakes for tortillas, beans and eggs any day of the week.
My dad and stepmother travel to Santa Fe yearly and it was from one of these trips I received the book, “The Maverick Cookbook- Iconic Recipes and Tales from New Mexico” by author Lynn Cline. Well first of all, I love a cookbook that is truly readable, and the fact that it has “tales” in the title is a good indicator I’m going to love it. Secondly, yes, I still get gifts when my parents come home from trips despite the fact that I’m, ahem, over 30, so just deal. Fine, I’m 37. Whatever.
So I’m not going to set any unrealistic expectations for you of what to expect if you choose to add this cookbook to your collections but, IF YOU HAVE A PULSE AND EVEN A SMALL APPRECIATION FOR SOUTHWESTERN HISTORY AND MOVEMENT MAKERS AND LOVE DELICIOUS FOOD, THIS MAY MAKE THE TOP 5 OF YOUR COOKBOOK COLLECTION. So there you go, I do like the book. And I cooked it, so let’s start there.
I don’t know why the hell I decided upon a burger in the dozens of legit recipes in this beautiful book, but I did. As I mentioned, I’m a chili fan and I also love blue cheese so I figured it would have been hard to mess this burger up! But I did. I messed the damn burger up. Not horribly, but it had potential for perfection and it was my fault it wasn’t! So the problem was the bun. The recipe called for a brioche bun, which I love, but after unsuccessfully hitting up two stores I gave up and decided to make my own. My brioche bun was edible, however it tasted more like a biscuit than brioche. Despite this, the burger was really, really delicious. I can’t wait to make it again!
If you’ve ever made recipes that call for roasted chilies that you must broil and peel, you know it’s a small pain in the ass. The process doesn’t exactly disqualify it from being a weeknight meal, but it almost does. Basically, the process is either broiling the peppers in the oven or putting them over a flame on your gas stove, then either dunking them in ice water or letting them sweat in an airtight container and peeling the outside skin off. I have now done this several different times and ways and I believe that broiling them in the oven until they are almost completely black then putting them in an airtight container for a bit provides the easiest results. After that, you just feel off the bit pieces of skin and rub the rest with a paper towel to get the little pieces off. No biggie. For this burger, I used Anaheim chilies, since Hatch chilies are not available here this time of year. I look forward to trying this recipe later in the year when I see Hatch chilies at the store!
Ease and Convenience – 4 – The peppers are a bit of a pain in the ass
Taste – 4.5 – This burger was wonderful despite the fact that I screwed up the buns!
Cookbook – 5 – Although a few of the recipes seemed a tad out of place, I really like this cookbook and think you will too.
Recipe – Route 66 Burgers – The Maverick Cookbook – adapted by Shawny*
*want the real recipe? Buy the book here:
- 1 lb ground round steak
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 brioche buns, buttered and toasted (NOTE: This will make 4 burgers so I’m not sure why they call for 6 buns. Just do 4.)
- 2 fresh, roasted New Mexico Hatch or Anaheim chili peppers, chopped
- 4 thick slices blue cheese (NOTE: blue cheese is hard as hell to “slice” so just do your best)
Combine the ground round with the onions, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Form into 4 patties and grill or broil to desired temperature, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Serve on lightly toasted buns topped with chilies and cheese. Although the recipe didn’t call for it originally, I did put the chilies and cheese on the burger for the last couple minutes of cooking to warm them and I think that was a good addition. Enjoy!