Green chiles make everything just a little better. We watched a program on the Food Network last week featuring green chile cheeseburgers and were inspired to try these on our own grill. So amazing. We decided to pair our southwest cheeseburgers with a healthier version of french fries — sweet potatoes pan roasted on the grill. A delicious late summer meal!
Peel the sweet potatoes. This is our first time making sweet potato fries, and we weren’t sure how they would turn out. But we decided to try them anyway because we’ve heard that sweet potatoes are more nutritious and a healthier substitute to the common spud.
Cut the sweet potatoes into sticks and add them to a cookie sheet. Drizzle over a few teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
We decided to roast the sweet potatoes on the grill, over low direct heat. (The color of the sweet potatoes looks different in the natural light outside at dusk. We tend to eat late).
While the sweet potatoes are cooking on the grill, prepare the green chiles. We used a mixture of mild and hot Hatch green chiles, which we purchased pre-roasted. These types of chiles need to be peeled and stemmed before you cook with them.
The charred peels are fairly easy to remove. One simple trick is to place a green chile on a cutting board and scrape the peel off using the backside of a knife.
Chop the green chiles into medium-sized pieces.
Assemble all of the burger condiments before you take the patties out to the grill — sliced cheddar cheese, chopped green chiles, chopped white onion and some garlic salt.
And, of course, the beef. We used approximately two thirds of a pound of ground sirloin for two burgers. On this night, we used 93% lean ground beef, but 80% lean beef generally means a little bit more juicy burger.
Burgers on the grill tend to plump up in the middle. A trick to minimize the plumping and keep the final burger as uniform as possible is to create a slight depression in the middle of the pattie before you place it on the grill. Season only with salt and pepper. (The green chiles are going to take the starring role in these burgers!)
Two burgers on the grill. There is something perfectly American about grilling burgers on Labor Day weekend.
After the burgers go on the grill, turn the sweet potato fries so that they brown evenly without burning. Because this is the first time we cooked these fries, we turned them often — with a fair amount of trepidation as to whether they would turn out to be appetizing, or a mushy mess. As of the above picture, we felt pretty good that the fries were going to be delicious (they were!)
After three minutes over medium-high direct heat, turn the burgers 90 degrees using a metal spatula. (This is for grill marks and to make sure that the burgers are cooking evenly.)
The chopped, roasted green chiles benefit very well from one more step — heating them in a hot skillet before they go on the burger. (We picked up this trick thanks to the Food Network). We used a tiny cast iron skillet on the side burner of our grill.
Add a few pinches of garlic salt, stir around in the hot skillet, and the green chiles are ready for the cheeseburgers.
After approximately 6 minutes, turn the burgers over. You can tell they are ready to turn when the outside edges begin to look brown.
After the burgers cook for another 6-8 minutes until medium to medium-well done, add the condiments. First, a layer of sliced white onion.
Next, the cheddar cheese.
Finally, spoon the heated green chiles on the cheeseburgers.
The sweet potato fries cooked for approximately 45 minutes total.
The final product — green chile cheeseburger on a toasted wheat bun. The above picture shows the burger cooked medium – still just a teeny bit pink in the middle (and no one got sick!)
Add a generous pinch of salt to the sweet potato fries after they come off the grill. Dinner!