Flay's "Throwdown!" Green Chile Cheeseburgers

Bobby Flay goes head-to-head every week on his show, "Throwdown!" with cooks who have staked their claim as masters of certain iconic dishes -- buffalo wings, chicken cacciatore, or sticky buns, for example -- even though he may never have cooked these things before. The results are always entertaining -- and delicious.

Now, the "Early Show" contributor and resident chef has compiled the best "Throwdown!" recipes in a book of the same name, his first in collaboration with the Food Network.

On "The Early Show," Flay offered the recipe for one of his favorite "Throwdown!" dishes: Green Chile Cheeseburgers.

In that "Throwdown!" episode, New Mexico was calling with its irresistible specialty. They're juicy, smoky, spicy and delicious, and no one does them better than Bob Olguin. Flay was all over the theme ingredient because chiles, well, that's his game!

Three essential elements -- a juicy hamburger, plenty of cheese, and New Mexico green chiles -- come together in one explosively tasty burger.

The chiles of choice are Hatch chiles (sometimes known as "Big Jims"), grown in the Chile capital of the world, Hatch, N.M. But the limited growing season there leaves room to experiment with some of the state's other amazingly flavored green chiles - meaning any pepper: hot, mild, or in between, harvested young while still green and meaty.

Once a locals-only secret, these zesty burgers are slowly making their way across the country.

"Early Show" recipes galore!


Bobby Flay's Green Chile Cheeseburgers

Serves 4

Green Chile Relish
1 medium poblano chile, roasted and thinly sliced
2 Hatch chiles, roasted and thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, roasted and thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80 percent lean)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
Queso Sauce (recipe follows)
Pickled Red Onion (recipe follows)
12 blue or yellow corn tortilla chips, coarsely crushed

1. To make the green chile relish, combine the chiles, vinegar, honey, olive oil, and cilantro in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
2. To cook the burgers, heat your griddle or a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and heat until it begins to shimmer.
3. Shape the ground beef with your hands into 4 round patties, each about 1 1/2 inches thick, and season each burger on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook the burgers until golden brown on both sides and cooked to medium, about 8 minutes.
4. Place the burgers on the buns and top each with a few tablespoons of the Queso Sauce, Green Chile Relish, Pickled Red Onion, and chips.

Queso Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
12 ounces Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, raise the heat to high, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Chihuahua cheese until melted. If the mixture is too thick, thin with additional milk. Add the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Pickled Red Onion
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 medium red onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

1. Combine the vinegar, 1/4 cup water, the sugar, and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
2. Put the onions in a medium heatproof bowl, pour the vinegar over them, cover, and refriger­ate for at least 4 and up to 48 hours.

For an updated schedule of dates for Bobby Flay's book tour, click here.