Recipe: The H-Bomb Burger

Recipe: The H-Bomb Burger
This is the “H-Bomb” burger.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

“My fieriest burger yet! Some people, like me, love spicy burgers. My H-Bomb Burger is a great way to give them just what they want: the H-Bomb with fried serrano chiles, caramelized onions, habanero jack cheese, jalapeno, bacon, tomato, leaf lettuce and slathered with habanero relish and chipotle mayo all on a jalapeno-cheese bun. The devil made me do it!”

— Richard Amiel, Cathedral City

The H-Bomb Burger

Total time: 2 hours, plus at least 24 hours marinating time for the relish and 2 hours chilling time for the burgers.


Servings: 8

Note: From Richard Amiel of Cathedral City. Jalapeño bacon and habanero cheese are available at select gourmet markets, as well as online.


2 pounds ground beef chuck


1 small onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon seeded, chopped jalapeño pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, gently combine the beef chuck with the chopped onion, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeño, salt, ground pepper and cayenne pepper. Form the mixture into 8 (half-inch to three-fourths-inch-thick) patties. Place the patties on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 1 day.


Habanero relish

8 habanero peppers, finely chopped

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon white vinegar


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the habanero peppers, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and vinegar. Process to a smooth paste. Taste and season as desired. This makes a generous 1½ cups relish. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to give the flavors time to marry.


Chipotle mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise

2 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce), chopped

1 tablespoon adobo sauce

Juice of ½ lime

Salt and pepper

In a food processor, pulse together the mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This makes about 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Caramelized onions

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 pounds onions, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, then stir in the onions. Stir in the salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and continue to cook, stirring and scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the onions are golden-brown, 20 to 30 minutes.

The H-Bomb burger

16 slices jalapeño bacon

1/4 cup oil

16 serrano chiles

8 hamburger buns or jalapeño-cheese hamburger buns, split horizontally

Chipotle mayonnaise


Caramelized onions

Habanero relish

8 leaf lettuce leaves

8 large slices tomato

8 slices habanero jack cheese

1. Working in batches, fry the jalapeno bacon slices in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.

2. In another skillet, add the oil and fry the serrano chiles until softened and browned. Be careful, because the oil will splatter as the chiles fry. Remove the chiles and drain. Peel and seed if desired, and slice the chiles into strips.

3. Prepare the barbecue or grill and heat over medium-high heat. Spray the grill rack with nonstick spray. Toast buns until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer buns, cut side up, to plates. Spread each bun bottom with some chipotle mayonnaise and top each with a lettuce leaf and sliced tomato.

4. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue to cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes longer for medium. Shortly before the burgers are done, top each burger with caramelized onion, the fried and sliced serrano chiles and a spoonful of habanero relish. Place a slice of habanero jack cheese on each burger and top with 2 slices jalapeño bacon. Continue cooking just until the cheese melts.

5. Place the burger patties on the bun bottoms, spread each bun top with a little more chipotle mayo and place over the burger. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 841 calories; 41 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams fiber; 54 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 111 mg cholesterol; 14 grams sugar; 1,908 mg sodium.

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