RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Smokehouse Sliders with Smoked Green Olive Mayo and Arugula

Ingredients 

Smoked Green Olive Mayo
2 Tbls Spanish Green Olives, stuffed with pimento (about 10), minced
2 Green Onions, minced
1/2 cup Mayonaisse
2-3 drops liquid smoke
Pinch of freshly cracked pepper

Slider Patties
2 lbs. Sirloin Steak, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 lb. Sliced Smoked Bacon (about 8 slices), cut into 2 inch pieces
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Pepper

Vegetable Oil, for brushing on the grill rack
12 Fresh Bakery Dinner Rolls, split
2 Tbls Butter, softened
3 large slices Smoked Fontina Cheese, cut into quarters
2 cups fresh Arugula, washed and dried

Instructions 

Prepare a medium heat fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium heat. The grill heat should be lower than usual for preparing typical burgers.

To make the mayonnaise, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To make the patties, place the steak and bacon in the food processor and pulse 10 times. Do this in two batches and add to a large bowl. Add the salt and pepper and mix lightly but thoroughly. Use a 2 ounce ice cream scoop to portion the meat mixture and form into 12 patties.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack and cook, turning once, until done, 5 to 7 minutes on each side. The low and slow cooking method ensures the bacon will render properly to create juicy, tender burgers. While burgers are cooking, lightly spread the bakery rolls with butter. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice.

To assemble the burgers, spread mayonnaise on the cut side of the roll tops and sprinkle with the fresh arugula leaves. Place a burger patty on each of the roll bottoms and add the tops. Prepare your mouth for the best "bacon cheeseburger" you’ve ever tasted.

Makes 6 servings of 2 sliders each.

Comments 

This recipe combines two of the hottest food trends to update the classic bacon cheeseburger. First, sliders are popping up on appetizer and happy hour menus ranging from casual family restaurants to fine dining establishments. Next, who doesn't love to live by the phrase "everything is better with bacon!"? This recipe adds bacon right in the patties to ensure the best bacony flavor in every bite.

Even folks who dislike olives or onions agree that my smoked green olive mayo turns this burger into something very special. I completed my testing for this recipe by preparing 5 dozen sliders for a party of 30 people at my house - every single person raved about them, including some of the pickiest eaters I've ever known!

I've paired this with Sutter Home's Zinfandel - the pepperiness of the arugula help these burgers stand toe to toe with the bold spicy Zin.