These burgers have a smoky, spicy flavor which pairs excellently with the cool cilantro aioli. And the homemade chips are so easy, you can literally cook them in minutes in the microwave, adding whatever oils and seasonings you prefer. Even though I bought my ground beef at $1.99 a pound, I used the more common sale price of $2.99 a pound, because my sale price wasn’t available at most grocery stores. The cheese I added to the burgers was Pepper Jack because we like spice but you can used smoked mozzarella, gouda, or plain old cheddar. If you haven’t made aioli before, it’s super easy and just takes minutes. One way I can keep my prices down when making burgers or hotdogs, is by buying the store brand, which I can always find on sale for $1.00, which are smaller than other brands, but saves you money and calories. If you don’t have a grill, these can be cooked inside on a grill pan or in the skillet.
This entire meal, including burgers, buns, aioli, and homemade chips came in at approximately $7.50 for a family of four.
Spicy Grilled Chipotle Burgers –
Prep Time: 15 minutes Grill: 10 minutes Serves: 4 for approx. $6.00
- 1 lb ground beef or chuck
- 1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped, plus 1 tsp adobo (usually found on the Mexican food aisle)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a medium onion)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 tomato slices
- 4 red onion slices **Just buy one onion, slice half and use the other for the chopped onion)
Heat grill (or grill pan or skillet) to medium-high heat. In a large bowl, mix beef, chipotles, adobo, cilantro, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. (Make sure you get it mixed up well or some patties will be spicier than others.) Shape into 4 patties. Grill 4 minutes, flip burgers and add cheese slices. Grill another 3 to 4 minutes (for medium) or until desired doneness. Remove from heat.
Place burgers on buns and top with onion, tomato and cilantro aioli. (You can add some fresh cilantro too if you’re a cilantro-loving person.)
Cilantro Aioli –
Takes about 5 minutes to make….makes 1/2 cup for approx. 80 cents.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 small lime, juice and grated zest
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. minced jalapeno
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until well combined.
MICROWAVE POTATO CHIPS –
Takes about 5 to 10 minutes to prep and cook….serves 4 for approx. 70 cents
These chips are seriously good! The key to these is making sure your potatoes are cut super thin. If you have a mandolin, use that but otherwise, a very sharp knife will do the trick. This was the first time I tried these and I am going to continue experimenting with other vegetables like sweet potatoes, kale, and beets. I use olive oil but use whatever you like/have. A dash of Sea salt and black pepper is all I add because the rest of the meal is spicy but garlic salt, Kosher salt, dill, etc., would taste good too. When you buy potatoes in a 5 or 10 pound bag, you’re always going to save money versus buying them by the pound.
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Wash and very thinly slice potatoes, putting slices in water bowl as you cut them. Let soak in water for about 3 minutes. Dry with paper towel or in a salad spinner. Put paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and place potato slices on it, without letting the slices touch one another. Brush oil on potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Microwave on high 3 minutes. Check and pull out slightly browned and crispy ones. Continue cooking until they are all crispy on 50% power for 1 minute increments. You’ll need to do several batches, depending on the size of your plate.