Good morning and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I’m missing my Dad and our annual tradition of watching the US Open together because the lucky guy is in Ireland playing golf with his buddies! I’m so thrilled for him. Ireland, he says, is the place that he always feels like he is home. Good for Dad and being in your happy place!
This week’s recipe is in remembrance of a time gone past and my first ever Queso Fundido. Great Sand Dunes National Monument (now a national park), August 1997. We were on a camping trip. At the time, my ex and I were the best ever “gourmet car campers”! We had all the gear to make it feel as we were home. Top of the line tents, air mattresses, big fluffy duvets, portable stoves, real plates and silverware, a dishwashing station and a slew of cast iron cookware. We camped just about every weekend in the summer and had everything to make it super comfy and well, delicious! I loved those weekends. Not a care in the world. No cell phones or internet. Just peace and quiet and the beauty of the wilderness.
We spent our weekend at the Dunes with our dear friends Amy and Steve (RIP). It was our first trip there and in “the day”, we had the whole park to ourselves. It’s pretty special to be the only souls on the impressive dunes. Amy and I were in charge of planning meals. We decided on a Mexican themed weekend. It was easy to prepare and pre-chop most of the ingredients and cook on the fire. I had heard of the “queso fundido” and wanted to give it a try. Actually, I just liked that the word “fun” was in it. Regardless, it was delicious. We sauteed peppers, onions, chorizo, and garlic and melted in a pile of shredded cheese in our big cast iron pan. I’ll tell ya, my life changed at that moment! It was like Mexican fondue and it was so good to eat by a fire. Of course, there was tequila involved, lots and lots of tequila.
So my thoughts went back to the Sand Dunes last weekend when I visited Rocky Mountain National Park. Wow! I hadn’t been there in 25 years. I totally forgot how beautiful that part of our state is! It’s jaw-dropping beauty and the abundance of wildlife is incredible. Just a spectacular day! As my thoughts went back to the dunes, I thought of the queso fundido and thought that it would be perfect as a topping for an impeccably grilled hamburger! Sure enough, Queso Fundido Burgers are pretty much to die for! Just as I thought. Melty, poblano, chorizo-laced cheese over a burger. It fits the bill for “last meal” kinda food for me!
Bonus points on this recipe…You can make the queso fundio on its own and serve it as an appetizer with corn chips or flour tortillas!
- [b]For the Queso Fundido[/b]
- 4 (ounces) chorizo sausage
- 1 cup diced Poblano chilies
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 10 (ounces) shredded quesadilla cheese*
- [br][b]For the burgers[/b][br]
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
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- Pre-heat the grill to 400 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the meat, chili powder, garlic, and pepper. Mix with your hands until everything is evenly incorporated. Form the burger into 4- 1/2 pound burgers and set aside.
- In a medium-sized saute pan, add the chorizo and cook over medium heat. Crumble with a spatula and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain off fat. Add the meat back to the pan.
- Add the onions, peppers, garlic, and pepper to the chorizo and cook over medium heat until the onions and peppers become translucent. Remove from heat until the burgers are done to your liking.
- Place the burgers on the grill and cook until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
- While the hamburger is resting, place the saute pan back on the stove with the sausage mixture. Turn heat to and add the cheese to the mixture stirring constantly with a spatula until well combined and melted.
- To assemble the burgers. Top the burgers with the cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes ketchup and mayo.