Bite into bite-sized buffalo burgers

Aug 24 2010 - 12:10am

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(TAMMY LJUNGBLAD/Kansas City Star)
(TAMMY LJUNGBLAD/Kansas City Star)

Buffalo sliders are a slick way to enjoy a burger without the two-fisted guilt.

These Buffalo Sliders are higher in iron and lower in fat and cholesterol than their beef counterparts. The flavor profile mimics the bar snack profile, including hot sauce, reduced-fat blue cheese and celery. In a nod to the popularity of sliders, bakery departments are downsizing their buns.

If you have trouble finding slider buns, use a 3-inch round cookie cutter and shave down regular-size whole-wheat buns to fit; save the scraps for breadcrumbs or stuffings.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that ground buffalo be cooked to 160 degrees; overcooking will produce dry burgers.

If extra spicy flavors are preferred, increase cayenne to 1/2 teaspoon or hot pepper sauce to 1 teaspoon.

Serving suggestions: Sliders can make an entree, if accompanied by a big summer salad. Of course, you could serve them as a first-course or appetizer, too.

Also, the meat could be shaped into four patties and grilled as directed, 3 to 4 minutes each side and served on hamburger buns. Top each full-size patty with about 4 teaspoons sauce.

Buffalo Sliders

1 pound ground buffalo (bison) meat

1 egg white

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced

2 teaspoons ketchup

1 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, divided

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Salt, to taste

3 tablespoons reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles

3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk

1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

8 whole-wheat slider buns, split and toasted

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

Spray grill grates with nonstick spray. Preheat grill to medium high or allow coals to burn down to white ash.

Combine buffalo, egg white, garlic, jalapeno, ketchup, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and cayenne. Mix lightly. Shape into 8 thin patties, about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Season very lightly with salt.

Grill patties 2 to 3 minutes each side or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees. Remove from heat, cover and allow to stand about 5 minutes while internal temperature rises to 160 degrees. (Do not overcook.)

Meanwhile, combine blue cheese and buttermilk in a small mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the blue cheese into the buttermilk. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Stir in celery and remaining 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Place a tomato slice on the bottom of each bun. Top with a buffalo patty, then dollop 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons blue cheese sauce over the meat, then top with bun. Serves 8.

Per serving: 215 calories (26 percent of calories from fat), 6 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 47 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams carbohydrates, 20 grams protein, 243 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

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