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Chili's Nacho Burger
by Todd Wilbur
Menu Description: "Nacho Ordinary Burger! Shredded lettuce, tortilla strips, chili queso & green onions. Served open faced w/sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos & pico de gallo."

Here's a clone recipe for a delicious new burger from Chili's unlike any you may have tasted before. It was designed by the folks at this popular chain to incorporate several of restaurant's prepared sides -- all of which you will now have clones for -- including Chili's chili queso, Chili's pico de gallo, and Chili's guacamole. Stack it all onto a bun with a juicy 1/4-pound ground beef patty and some crumbled tortilla chips for crunch, and you've got a slightly spicy, South-of-the-border taste. Muy bien, amigos!
   Pico de Gallo
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced Spanish onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and de-ribbed
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh cilantro
Pinch of salt

Guacamole
2 small or 1 large Haas avocado
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/2 teaspoon diced jalapeno
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Chili Queso
3 ounces ground beef
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
pinch of ground black pepper
16-ounce bottle Cheez Whiz
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika

1. First make the pico de gallo. This is easy. Just combine all of the ingredients for the pico in a small bowl and mix well. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
2. Now we'll make the guacamole. In a small bowl, smash up most of the avocado, but be sure to leave several unsmashed chunks. Add the remaining ingredients for the guacamole to the avocado and mix well. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator, next to the pico.
3. Next we'll make the chili queso. In yet another small bowl, mix together ground beef, flour, a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and a pinch of chili powder. Use your hands to work the dry ingredients into the ground beef. Brown the beef in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Use a spoon or spatula to crumble the beef as it cooks. Cook until it's brown, then set aside.
4. Melt the Cheez Whiz with 2 tablespoons of milk over low heat. When milk and cheese has been combined, add the remaining queso ingredients. Heat while stirring often until cheese is smooth and creamy, then cover saucepan and remove it from the heat.
5. Pre-heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Lightly butter the face of each bun and brown the buns face-down on the heat.
6. Separate the ground beef into four 1/2-pound portions. Roll each portion of meat into a ball and then pat the meat down into a circular patty slightly larger in diameter than the hamburger buns. Cook the hamburger patties for 5-10 minutes per side, until done. Lightly salt and pepper each burger patty.
7. Build the burger open-faced in the following order starting with the bottom bun:

On Bottom Bun
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
hamburger patty
2 tablespoons chili queso
4 or 5 crumbled tortilla chips
2 teaspoons green onion

On Top Bun
1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons pico de gallo
2 tablespoons guacamole
4 jalapeno slices

Serve burger with extra queso and guacamole. May also serve french fries on the side and use the chili queso for dipping.
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