Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers & Guilt Free Fries

There’s only so much you can do to tune out the balmy, erratic weather and near constant humidity. You can put on your favorite playlist, find some solace in chopping and flipping, pray for a vacation from the climate while you nurse a tall glass of iced lemonade and prepare to cook the best burgers ever. The fact that they’re accompanied by these guilt free fries is the added bonus, the light at the end of the tunnel. 

I’ve discovered an ingenious way to cook them too – they remain juicy, tender and flavour-packed. The technique is inspired, in equal parts by Pinterest and Gordon Ramsay. Of course, you could always use a grill but in my tiny kitchen, a smoky grill was out of question. Either way, the charred flavor was incorporated with this sly method. It gives the burgers a perennial quality – you don’t just need to wait for the season. You and your saucepan are enough!

P.S – An extra well deserved shout-out to Amrita Rana (also known as That Bacon Jam girl) for introducing me to sweet potatoes – I need to eat your food more often 😉

Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers

Serves: 2, can easily be doubled to serve 4 – 6

Source: Annie’s Eats

400g chicken mince

4 fat garlic cloves, minced finely

1 small onion, chopped finely

 A handful of coriander, chopped

1 – 2  jalapenos, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/3rd cup Cheddar Cheese, grated (I used Go), plus extra for topping

1 tbs olive oil

For assembly:

2 burger buns

 Flavoured butter (optional, but totally worth it)

Tomatoes, sliced

Lettuce

Mayonnaise 

1. In a medium bowl, add chicken mince, chopped garlic, onion, jalapeno and all seasonings including cheese, saving some for grating on top later. Mix well and set aside for a minute. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a medium sized skillet pan and heat on high flame. 

2. Take the lid of a fairly large jar and line it well with cling wrap. Stuff the mince in the cling wrap and press down well. It should bind easily. Immediately, transfer the burger mixture from the jar to your hand and then onto the skillet which should be smoking hot. Continue to heat on high flame while the bottom of the burger gets a nice sear. Flip over and wait for about a minute till the other side too gets a nice sear. Then reduce the flame to low, cover the skillet with a lid and let it cook till the internal temperature registers to 160 F. Repeat with remaining mixture. Just before serving, set the oven to the broiler setting, add some cheese on top and bake for 5 – 7 minutes till cheese has melted – totally optional but definitely recommended. 

Sweet Potato Fries

Serves: 2 – 3 

Source: The Vanilla Bean Original

2 sweet potatoes, boiled

A handful of Cheddar cheese, grated

1 tsp olive oil

Grill seasoning, of your choice (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Pre heat the oven to 150 F. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper. 

2. Cut the sweet potatoes into thin wedges and spread evenly on the cookie sheet. Add a dash of olive oil and seasonings and sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes till fries are crisp and cheese has melted. I started checking after 12 – 15 minutes, your oven may differ so be vigilant. 

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