- 8 slices meaty bacon, halved across
- 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
- 1 large jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced into rings
- 1 large red chili finger pepper or Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced into rings
- About ½ cup mild or hot pickled jalapeño rings
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, about ⅓ palmful
- 1 ½ - 2 pounds ground beef sirloin (6-8 ounce burgers)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- 4 deli-cut slices (slice a little on thick side) or 8 thin slices pepper jack cheese, ¼ pound, OR use cheddar cheese for milder popper burgers, or use a slice of each cheese
- Soft burger rolls (Rach likes sesame-topped Big Marty's)
- Lettuce, romaine or leaf
- Thinly sliced red onion
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Arrange bacon on a baking sheet lined with foil and a wire rack or use a slotted pan and bake until very crisp, 15 to 18 minutes.
Heat a small cast-iron skillet with oil over medium-high to high heat, add fresh peppers and soften 3 to 4 minutes, add pickled rings, toss and remove from heat.
Combine cream cheese with garlic and cumin.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high to high heat.
Place meat in bowl and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire, mix and divide into 4 portions, then patties that are thinner at center than edges for even cooking.
Cook patties 7 to 8 minutes turning occasionally. Using a rubber spatula, slather the burgers with cream cheese and top with sliced cheese, remove pan from heat and cover with foil or silicone lid to melt cheese onto burgers.
Build burgers: bun bottom, lettuce and onion, cheeseburgers, halved bacon slices and jalapeños, place bun top in place.
Serve with curly fries and Ranch or ketchup.