August 20, 2012

Green Chile Bison Cheeseburgers

(These are my roasted Hatch green chiles after I chopped them. My burgers looked like normal burgers, so I thought a photo of the chiles would be more interesting.)

I love ground bison. If you haven't tried it, don't be's delicious. It tastes almost identical to top quality ground sirloin (read: not gamey in flavor at all). It's good for you, as it is minimally processed and very lean. It has a higher protein content (40g of protein compared to beef at 21g), lower saturated fat than beef (3g for bison vs. 6g for lean ground beef) and it has a bigger quantity of B6 and B12 vitamins, too. I like that it's not treated with chemicals or hormones and is usually grass fed. I will say it is more expensive; about double the price per pound at my local grocery store as compared to regular beef. I think a pound of bison was about $7-$8, but I think the cost is worth the benefits. It's my go-to substitute when I'm trying to eat better, but still have a hankerin' for burgers.

I used my recently-obtained bison to make these green chile burgers. I love fresh roasted green chiles, and summertime in the southwest means Hatch chile season. Hatch chiles have the best green chile flavor with a moderate amount of heat (depending on the chile--some can be super-spicy) and are only around for a few weeks at the end of summer. I always try to buy some and roast them myself, before they are gone for the year. This time, I only bought a small quantity and used them all in this recipe. I roast them right over the open flame of my gas stove top, and then peel and chop 'em. Yum! This time I combined them into the burger to try something a little different and it did not disappoint. These burgers were very, very tasty and didn't feel at all like "health food".

Green Chile Bison Cheeseburgers

4 roasted, chopped Hatch green chiles (fresh if you can get them)
1/2 white onion, diced
1 lb. ground bison
salt and pepper to taste
1 T of olive oil
6 slices of Colby Jack cheese
6 sandwich thins, 100% whole wheat
3 T of plain, non fat Greek yogurt
2 T of your favorite salsa
1 sliced, ripe avocado; lightly coated with salt, pepper, lemon and lime juice
canola oil for the grill

Combine roasted chiles, bison meat, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir together with a fork so meat mixture is loosely combined (the less your burger meat is handled at this stage, the juicier your burgers will be). Form into 6 patties. Prepare an indoor grill pan by brushing a small amount of canola oil over the grates. heat grill pan to medium-high. Grill burgers until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side. Top with a slice of cheese and let melt for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove burgers from grill and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Mix salsa and plain yogurt in a small bows and add a small pinch of salt. Top each sandwich thin with a heaping teaspoon of the salsa-yogurt topping. Place cooked burger on each bun and finish with a few slices of the avocado. Enjoy!

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