Buffalo Sliders

Buffalo sliders — higher in iron and lower in fat and cholesterol than their beef counterparts — are a slick way to enjoy a burger without the two-fisted guilt.

Cooking tips: The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that ground buffalo be cooked to 160 F; 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 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 per side and served on hamburger buns. Top each full-sized patty with about 4 teaspoons sauce.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

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

11/4 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

Directions:

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

Combine the buffalo, egg white, garlic, jalapeno, ketchup, 1 teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce, the hot-pepper sauce and cayenne. Mix lightly. Shape into 8 thin patties, about 21/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Season very lightly with the salt.

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

Meanwhile, combine the blue cheese and buttermilk in a small mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash blue cheese into buttermilk. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Stir in the 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 21/2 teaspoons blue cheese sauce over meat, then top with bun.

Nutrition 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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