Santa Fe Burgers: One of my favorite burgers to toss on the grill in the summer. Topped with a spicy cheese sauce, roasted poblano peppers, and crispy blue corn chips! | macheesmo.com

Sante Fe Burgers

This post is updated from the Macheesmo Archives.

Summer equals grilling and grilling equals burgers. Any time I’m cooking burgers for a group, I always think about making these Sante Fe Burgers. I love the flavors and also love that since they use a cheese sauce, you don’t have to worry about melting the cheese on the burgers!

I first saw this burger recipe in an old Bobby Flay cookbook and it caught my eye for its combination of toppings which include:

– Roasted poblano peppers (for spice)
– A smooth cheese sauce (for cheesiness and spice)
– Blue corn tortilla chips (for texture)

Pair that with a perfect burger and a bun and you are all set.

Yield
Makes 6 burgers
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Yum

Santa Fe Burgers

Ingredients

Sante Fe Burger

3 large poblano chiles, roasted
2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean)
Salt and pepper
6 buns
Ripe Avocado
A few handfuls of tortilla chips

Cheese sauce

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Cups milk
8 ounces Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
Print Recipe  

Directions

1) Shape these into about 6 ounce patties and salt and pepper liberally. Some tips on shaping burgers:

– Don’t over work them. Just shape them enough to form a patty. If you work them too much they will get tough.
– Keep the seasoning simple in most cases. If you have good meat, then there isn’t a need to do a lot to it. But at the same time, don’t be shy with the salt and pepper.
– Using your thumb, make a small indent in the middle of the burger. As the meat cooks, it will expand and fill in this dent. This is the best way to prevent dreaded flying saucer burger: very fat in the middle and skinny on the outside.

3) Roast the peppers by sticking them over a high flame for a few minutes and then put them on a plate covered with plastic wrap. The steam will make the skin peel off perfectly.

Make the cheese sauce:
1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and when it is melted, whisk in the flour. Continue to stir it for 4-5 minutes until it starts to turn slightly tan.

2) Slowly whisk in the milk, a bit at a time.

3) Stir in the cheese which should melt and make a really rich sauce.

4) Stir in the salt and pepper and whisk for a few minutes to make sure it is thick. If it is too thin, just continue to whisk for a few minutes and it should thicken nicely.

5) Grill the burgers about 5-6 minutes a side over medium-high heat for a medium cooked burger.

6) Slather the bottom bun with avocado and few chips and then added the burger, pepper, cheese sauce, and top bun.

Sante Fe Burgers

I ran into a problem right away with the burgers. I couldn’t find any with the fat content I wanted and I actually hate a lean burger. Call me crazy but fat is flavor. So I came up with this idea that maybe has been done before, but I thought I would give it a try. If I needed more fat in the meat, I knew an easy way to increase the fat content: butter.

A muse told me to do this.

A muse told me to do this.

Using my hands I mushed the butter in the ground meat until it was evenly distributed. At the end it actually kind of looked like fat, a bit uneven and kind of veiny throughout the burgers.

Shape these into about 6 ounce patties and salt and pepper liberally. Some tips on shaping burgers:

– Don’t over work them. Just shape them enough to form a patty. If you work them too much they will get tough.
– Keep the seasoning simple in most cases. If you have good meat, then there isn’t a need to do a lot to it. But at the same time, don’t be shy with the salt and pepper.
– Using your thumb, make a small indent in the middle of the burger. As the meat cooks, it will expand and fill in this dent. This is the best way to prevent dreaded flying saucer burger: very fat in the middle and skinny on the outside.

Sante Fe Burgers

On the grill!

As far as the peppers go you can roast them beforehand if you need to. Stick them over a high flame for a few minutes and then put them on a plate covered with plastic wrap. The steam will make the skin peel off perfectly.

Ready to peel!

Next, make the cheese sauce. You really can’t make this more than 20 or 30 minutes in advance or it will just solidify. Cheese sauce isn’t that hard to make. This is the process.

First, melt your butter in a saucepan over medium heat and when it is melted, whisk in your flour. Continue to stir it for 4-5 minutes until it starts to turn slightly tan.

Sante Fe Burgers

ROUX!

Second, slowly whisk in your milk, a bit at a time. If you pour all your milk in at once, you’ll end up with a lumpy sauce. Do it slowly though and it will be smooth and delicious.

Finally, stir in your cheese which should melt and make a really rich sauce.

Sante Fe burgers

In with the cheese.

Stir in your salt and pepper and whisk for a few minutes to make sure it is thick. If it is too thin, just continue to whisk for a few minutes and it should thicken nicely.

Sante Fe Burgers

BOOM.

As far as putting it together, I slathered the bottom bun with avocado and then added a few chips and the burger. Then I added the roasted pepper, cheese sauce, and the top bun.

I really loved the cheese sauce. It brought everything together perfectly and stayed nice and melted.

Oh. And if you were worried, the butter addition to the burger was a good one. It was really moist. I was worried about it falling apart on the grill, but it definitely didn’t. It worked better than I thought it was going to.

Next time you are grilling, give this burger a shot. Definitely a keeper!

Santa Fe Burgers: One of my favorite burgers to toss on the grill in the summer. Topped with a spicy cheese sauce, roasted poblano peppers, and crispy blue corn chips! | macheesmo.com

15 comments on “Sante Fe Burgers

  1. jeepers.

    that cheese sauce is the crowning touch, isn't it?

    i have never had cheese sauce on a burger.

    not NEVER.

    i have been missing out. i see that now.

    fabulous pictures, Mr Macheesmo.

    fab.u.lous!

  2. Haha, you put butter into a bowl of ground beef. I want to frame that picture. Are you related to Paula Deen in some unknown way?

    They look like they were really great.

  3. Ya gotta love a butter burger! I'm excited for burger season to begin. Do you have the "Build a Better Burger" cookbook? It's a good one… all the prize winning recipes from that big contest they have in Napa every year. This one looks good. Love the drippy cheese sauce on there.

  4. Yeah, I saw Paula Deen put butter in her burger meat, too. I tried it after I saw her do it, but I didn't notice a difference in flavor. Your Mornay (or cheese) sauce looks so good! I love that stuff! It's fun to make, as well!

  5. Haha. Ok. So apparently I'm like Paula Dean. Nothing wrong with that sometimes… I thought the butter added some flavor, but more importantly it adds moisture to the burger. I'm always worried about lean burgers getting too dry.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

  6. Being a native New Mexican, calling it a Santa Fe burger and then using poblanos instead of New Mexico green chiles is just flat out wrong.

    Otherwise sounds great with the cheese sauce instead of a slice of American or cheddar.

    1. Ha! Good point Matt. I used what is most commonly available for people across the US. You’re 100% right though. If you can find the real green chiles, use those! :)

  7. No one in Santa Fe, let a long New Mexico is going to put a poblano on a burger. It has to be green chile – hatch all the way.

Leave a Comment