So, you know Bobby Flay doesn’t really fail us often but one of the things that I really truly like about him is that he ‘competes’ with the small local big guy and often loses. I think he loses by design. The premise of the show is this. Small local guy doing one dish really great that they are known for. Bobby challenges them to a ‘throwdown’ to see who does it better. Bobby creates something that is that thing in essence but in a modern or tweaked out kinda way. They are both judged. Depending on the judge, but most often, the classical presentation (the Local folks) win! A few weeks ago Z picked out a recipe from the Throwdown Cookbook for our 52 Cookbooks dinner and it turned out to be out of Throwdown. A recipe for green chile queso burgers. So, in essence, we were going to use his recipe to beat someone making a Hatch green chile burger. I seriously love me some spicy Hatch chiles.
True story and side note. My final year of college and I decided to go home for Spring Break. My parents decided we should road trip down to Santa Fe for some good eats. Not our first rodeo to this destination. We hit the road and about six hours later (from Denver) we were there in the freezing cold spring slurry rain of Santa Fe. We were there to eat breakfast burritos smothered at Tia Sophias, Chile chowder at the Blue Corn and not less than one sopapilla (think beignet with honey instead of powdered sugar) at Thomasitas. Oh, and see art galleries on Canyon Road. It was pouring down rain and I had to buy a hat because I was cold-still have the hat and the memories of a really nice visit. I hope that I can someday take Z there because he would enjoy every minute (except probably for the art galleries.)
Anyhow, back to the burger. He chose this burger and I have to say, it’s solid. First I pickled some red onions using Bobby’s recipe and only letting them steep as I made the dinner-they were perfect and tart crunchy. I made a pepper jack queso-easy, thick and a little spicy. I made beefy patties and toasted the buns For good measure I crisped a couple of slices of bacon and made some tots. So, here’s where I went sideways and made my own life easier. He gave a great recipe for roasting the chiles and steaming them to remove the skins. Honestly, my grocery store doesn’t have great produce. So, I used canned green chiles. Dumped them on there and Bob’s your uncle (and mine coincidentally) dinner is served.
This cookbook is fun and self deprecating and modest which is usually how I find Bobby Flay to be. He is good but he doesn’t say, hey, I’m good. I like that about him. He may not be real but he definitely feels like it. We use this book as a jumping off place to create and mod our own things, just like this burger. Our muffaletta comes from here initially but we’ve made it our own. That is a good place to be.