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
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
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.