Let's talk buffalo. Leaner than beef and with a nice gamey flavor, it's an excellent alternative red meat for things like meatloaf, enchiladas, and...(wait for it)..burgers! Who saw that one coming from the title of this post...?
Our fabulous CSA provided us with lots of interesting peppers this summer, such as hungarian wax and poblanos. Usually we stuff and bake these peppers because of my undying love of edible food vessels, but a few weeks ago I thought I'd try roasting them for a change. Red peppers are delicious roasted, so why not try poblanos? Now I only question why I never tried it sooner! Their flavor is similar to an intense green pepper with just a touch of heat, an excellent partner to the smokey profile that develops when they are roasted. A perfect partner for gamey buffalo.
To play up the smokey flavor of the peppers, I used a bit of chipotle powder to help season the buffalo patties. To balance the smoke and round out the flavor, sliced avocado is absolutely perfect (isn't it always on a burger?!). Add a few spinach leaves, a thin bun and voila, dinner is served! Well, almost....
For this dairy fiend, no burger is complete without cheese. Got to have a little of that melty, gooey goodness. Now you can absolutely go with a classic slice of pepper jack to add a little kick of heat and compliment the flavor of the buffalo and poblano. But I absolutely love the bright creaminess of goat cheese with this particular patty. It adds a whole extra dimension of flavor (and is also available at Costco...grab that with your buffalo!).
Smokey Buffalo Burgers with Roasted Poblanos & Avocados (serves 3)
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 12 oz ground buffalo
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- salt & pepper
- 3/4 c spinach
- 3 oz goat cheese, sliced pepper jack or other cheese of your choice
- 3 thin buns or other hamburger buns
Start by roasting your peppers. To roast in an oven, turn your broiler onto high and place the peppers on a baking sheet directly under the heat register; turn occasionally until skin is completely charred. On a gas range, place the pepper directly on a burner over high heat; turn and cook until completely charred. Remove the peppers to a paper bag and to cool and steam (this helps release the charred skin from the roasted pepper flesh). When cool enough to handle, peel the peppers and cut into thin strips.
On the same cutting board, thinly slice the avocado and sprinkle with a little lime juice to prevent browning. Set the board aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground buffalo, chipotle powder, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper, then mix together until the spices are well blended throughout the meat. Form into three patties approximately 1/2 inch thick, leaving slight divots in the center (to prevent burger bulge).
Pre-heat a grill pan or barbecue to medium-high and line a plate with paper towels. When the surface is hot, brush the grate lightly with oil and add the burgers. Cook for a minute and fifteen seconds on each side for a medium-well burger, adding more or less time as desired. Transfer the burgers to the paper towel lined plate to rest.
Toast the burger buns (if desired) and cover the bottom bun with a thin layer of spinach leaves. Place a buffalo patty on the spinach and top with the sliced poblano peppers and avocado. Top with a few dollops of goat cheese (or other cheese of your choice). Serve immediately with grilled cabbage or a simple salad.