My roommate and I were in Big Lots one day, years and years ago, and she comes over to me with this huge box in her cart.
"Look!" she said, "I just found a gas grill for $60! Should I buy it?"
Folks, if anyone ever asks you if they should buy a brand new gas grill for $60, the answer should be no. Nothing good can come from a gas grill for that cheap. I, however, was not as wise then as I am now, because I said these fateful words:
"That's great! We can put it on the back deck at our new place."
And so began a few years of grilling on the worlds crummiest gas grill. I hold a certain bit of pride that I got anything to taste good on that grill. There weren't just hot spots, there were volcanic craters. Other areas were cold enough that when the grill was on "high", I could still almost touch them with my bare hands. One year I delayed using it until mid-summer and opened it up to find a huge hornet's nest. It was always an adventure, but the love of grilled food kept me coming back.
These days, my husband and I are grilling on a fabulous Weber charcoal grill, courtesy of my brother. It feels like driving a Lexus after years of putting around in a golf cart. With a missing wheel. Food cooks evenly, there are no hornets, and the base isn't questionably shaky. The one thing that has stayed the same is that the love of grilled food keeps me coming back.
Food like these burgers. I've already shared my love for a good old fashioned burger on the grill, and that remains unchanged. But sometimes I want to mix things up a bit - try some different flavorings, different meat, maybe fit into my skinny jeans. Things like that. Enter the chicken chorizo burger. There are several things I love about this burger - grinding my own meat from chicken breasts so I know exactly what is in there, the corn tortillas that work as a binder and lend a hint of corn tortilla flavor, the jalapeno pepper that adds a little kick, and the chorizo sausage, which lends its great flavor. Throw in an avocado mayonnaise and now we're cooking. With charcoal. I can have the burgers all prepped by the time my grill is heated up, making this a weeknight meal that works well for us.
No matter what grill we cook it on.
Chicken Chorizo Burgers with Avocado Mayonnaise
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe peeled avocado
1/2 pound Spanish chorizo sausage (such as Usinger's)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
8 (2-ounce) onion rolls, toasted
8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
Prepare grill or broiler.
To prepare mayonnaise, combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until combined. Cover and chill mayonnaise mixture.
To prepare burgers, remove casings from sausage. Place sausage, salt, tortillas, chicken, and jalapeño in food processor; process 30 seconds or until mixture is coarsely ground. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Place patties on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 7 minutes on each side or until done.
Cut rolls in half horizontally; spread 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture over top half of each roll. Place tomato slices on bottom halves of rolls; top each with 1 patty and top half of each roll.