A copycat recipe of a fast food favorite: the Monterey Melt. It’s a juicy burger piled high with cheese, grilled peppers and onions and jalapeno ranch.
For the burger:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch of salt, to taste
For the jalapeno ranch:
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 1/3 c. buttermilk
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 3 jalapenos, stemmed and diced
- 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 oz. ranch packet or 3 TB DIY Ranch Seasoning
- 2 TB vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
- 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into strips
- 4 (or 8)* hamburger buns
- 8 slices pepper jack cheese
For the Burgers:
- In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Split the mixture into 8 equal portions and flatten into patties about 1/2″ larger than your buns. Make an indention in the center of each patty. This will keep them from rising.
- Prepare a charcoal grill and heat it to 375°F. If using a stove, heat a skillet on medium-high heat.
- Sear the burgers about 4 minutes on each side and cook to preferred level of doneness. Remove to a plate and season with a pinch of salt as they rest.
For the peppers and onions:
- In a medium cast iron skillet, place the vegetable oil, onions and peppers and set it on your grill to cook alongside the burgers. If using the stove, heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium heat and saute the peppers and onions for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for another 12-15 minutes until soft and translucent.
For the jalapeno ranch:
- In the bowl of a blender or food processor, place the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic and ranch seasoning. Blend until smooth and thin, like a dressing. Set aside and chill until ready to use. **This step is best done ahead of time, if possible. It tastes better the second day after the flavors have had time to meld.
- While the grill is still hot, spray the insides of your buns lightly with oil and place on the grill oil side down. Toast for less than a minute, just enough time to get brown and crispy.
- In order, layer the bun, patty, cheese, patty, and cheese. The heat from the burger should melt the cheese, but microwave for 30 seconds if needed. Top with a quarter of the peppers and onions and a nice helping of jalapeno ranch. Finish with the top bun and enjoy this amazing southwest burger!
*These make big half-pound burgers. If you want a lighter burger or to stretch the recipe to feed more people, using only one patty per burger will yield 8 quarter-pound burgers.
**The actual Monterey Melt uses American and Monterey Jack cheese. Instead of Pepper Jack, feel free to use two slices each on the burgers for more authenticity.