Roasted Pico Burger + Kale Chips: the verdict

It was a burger I had been aiming to make for ages, and never got around to it for some reason.  It looked right up my alley: a burger patty seasoned with chili powder, cumin, and coriander – smoky, spicy, slightly sweet.  Top this burger with a roasted pico de gallo and you’ve pretty much got my number.  To be honest, I found it pretty underwhelming though, and I do feel that it’s because I took too many shortcuts in the recipe – and I undersalted everything!  It’s pretty rare for me to do that, but for some reason lately, as I think I’ve mentioned, I’ve become salt-shy.

Now, that being said, it definitely did not stop us from virtually devouring the burgers.  However, I think following the recipe more to the letter in this case is really the right move.  In addition, I think preparing it on a grill instead of stovetop/broiler would have been a good move, and next time, we will definitely do that!

Roasted Pico Burger (makes 2)


  • 12 oz. lean ground beef
  • 1/4 c. beer (I used low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 jalapeno (I used a poblano because I really love the flavor, but next time I think I would use the jalapeno, or one of each!)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 c. cilantro (I omitted – don’t unless you actually hate it.  It’s integral to the flavor of pico de gallo; I just forgot to buy some.)
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 slices chesse of your choice
  • 2 burger buns


  1. In a bowl, combine beef, beer, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.  Form into two patties, making them slightly wider than the width of the bun, because they will shrink somewhat during cooking.  Make a small indent in the center of each burger – burger patties tend to swell upward when they cook, and this will keep the thickness even.
  2. Preheat the broiler or a grill.  Halve and seed tomato and jalapeno.  Slice onion thickly (or cut into wedges) On a rimmed baking sheet, broil the veggies until charred, about 15 minutes.  Alternatively, cook on grill about 10 minutes.
  3. Chop the vegetables and transfer to a bowl.  Add cilantro and lime juice, then salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cook the burgers over medium-high heat for five minutes on each side.  During the last few minutes of cooking, melt a slice of cheese over each.  If you are cooking them in a pan, the easiest way to do this is to place the cheese slice on each patty, add 1/4 c. water, and put the idea on the pan for a minute or two.
  5. To serve, place burger patty on the bottom bun, top with pico de gallo, and add the top of the bun.  Serving with sour cream or guacamole would be fitting if you like them.

To serve with these burgers, I opted to make kale chips.  I know many people have already done a write-up on these, so I’ll keep it brief.  Ultimately, the verdict was that J was not convinced nor converted to the kale-lovers camp.  I was captivated by the thin and crispy texture, which absolutely shatters in your mouth, making the most fantastic crunching sound.  Of course, you then have thousands of tiny pieces in your mouth.  The taste I found passable, but still pretty bitter.  I decided that, if what I wanted was something crispy and salty, they would do just fine, and I would feel virtuous eating them.  If I really wanted potato chips… I think I would stick with potato chips.

Kale Chips (makes about 2 cups)

I attempted to make these into salt and vinegar chips, as it’s my favorite flavor of potato chips, but I couldn’t really taste the vinegar.  Maybe I should dial up the amount?


  • 1 smallish bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Rinse and thoroughly dry kale.  Chop or tear into small pieces, about the size of potato chips.  Toss with olive oil until well-combined, and then spread onto a baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle vinegar over the kale – in the future, I might even spray it on with a spray bottle to ensure even coverage.
  4. Place baking sheet in the oven, and bake, checking every 5-10 minutes or so, until crispy.  Mine took about 15 minutes, I think.
  5. Sprinkle well with salt, and pepper, if desired.

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