It’s stupid hot in Toronto right now. And by that, I mean I can practically feel my brain melting in the heat and dribbling out my ears.
As is usually the case when the temperatures are high, Torontonians spend their days hiding indoors huddled around the A/C vents, moaning to each other about how bloody hot it is, trying to remember if they have any friends with backyard pools, and then making a dash for the nearest public pool when they realize they have no such friends.
At night, we huddle around the A/C vent some more, and watching news broadcasts where at least one of the stories has to involve a reporter talking about the heat wave while showing someone frying an egg on the sidewalk or baking cookies in the backseat of their car.
Needless to say, I have zero plans to turn on the stove or the oven for any significant length of time until this heat wave passes. Sadly, I don’t own a car, so I guess that rules out cookie-baking for the next little while, but at least I have a barbecue!
Burgers are one of our regular mainstays when it gets like this. They’re quick, they’re delicious, and if you’re using ground chicken or turkey, they’re also quite healthy. Plain chicken burgers get a little boring after a while, though, which is why I tend to play around with spices and toppings – like these chicken fajita burgers, which basically take all the things I love about fajitas and throw them into a burger instead.
I’ll admit, the fajita-inspired topping of sweet peppers, onion and jalapenos that makes these burgers so super-special requires you to turn on the stove for just a few minutes, but it’s totally worth it. (If you have one of those gas grills with a side burner, then you can certainly use that instead.)
We rounded out our too-hot-to-cook meal with a simple salad of sliced heirloom tomatoes drizzled with a little olive oil, but I’m thinking some grilled corn on the cob probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
And in case you’re curious, tomorrow’s breakfast plans just might include frying an egg on the sidewalk. I’m still not sure how I’m going to cook the bacon, though.
- 1 lb lean ground chicken
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ green pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Preheat a lightly oil gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, panko, onion, cilantro, egg, cumin, chili powder, chipotle powder and salt, and using your hands,
- Divide the burger mixture into four equal parts, and shape each one into a 3" wide patty. Arrange the patties on the preheated grill and cook, with the cover open, until browned on the outside and cooked all the way through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, tent loosely with tinfoil, and set aside to rest while you prep the peppers.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet set over high heat, saute the red, green and yellow peppers and the onions in olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until soften and starting to colour. Add the chili powder and jalapeno, if using, and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes longer, stirring infrequently so that the edges of the peppers get a little charred. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place the burger patties on the bottom bun halves, then top each one with shredded cheese and sauteed peppers, dividing evenly between the burgers, then finish with the top buns.