Monday, April 18, 2011

Cooking Light with Rachael Ray: Jalapeno Popper Sliders

My husband has not stopped talkin' about these Jalapeno Popper Sliders since we saw them made on the Rachael Ray Show this past Monday. After you take a look at the recipe, you will certainly see why! This little burger encompasses all of the wonderful flavors you would find in a jalapeno popper; the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cumin....and so on. I thought they looked good, but "good' doesn't even begin to describe how these Jalapeno Popper Sliders will taste when you bite into them. They were, and I quote Rudy on this one, "Perhaps the best burger I have ever had!" Now that says somethin'!

I give to you the much lighter, yet just as tasty, Jalapeno Popper Sliders!

JALAPENO POPPER SLIDERS
Makes 12 Sliders (12 Servings)


INGREDIENTS
  • 3 large jalapeno peppers
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • Olive Oil cooking spray
  • 8-ounces FAT FREE cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, grated
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds ground 95/5 extra-lean ground beef
  • 6 slices Reduced-Fat Sargento mild cheddar cheese; cut in half
  • 12 whole-wheat dinner rolls, sliced in half to create "burger bun"
DIRECTIONS
Pre-heat a griddle or grill to medium-high heat.



Cut the tops off the jalapeño peppers and, using an apple corer or fork handle, scoop out the seeds and slice into 1/8-1/4-inch rings. (Please don't use your fingers. I learned my lesson on this one; the hard way. Read more HERE.)


Place a small skillet over medium-high heat and coat with Fat Free Olive Oil cooking spray. Add the jalapeño peppers and Fresno chili pepper to the pan and toss for a couple minutes to char the edges of the peppers. The peppers should remain tender-crisp.


While the peppers are cooking, in a small mixing bowl, combine the softened FAT FREE cream cheese with the onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cumin and cilantro. Set aside.


Season the meat with salt and pepper and form twelve, 2-3-inch slider-size patties, thinner at the center and thicker at edges for even cooking. Spray griddle with olive oil spray, then cook on a hot griddle or grill for 2-3 minutes. Flip the patties and top with a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture, setting the mixture in place with a 1/2 slice of cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes more with the grill top down or tent the patties with foil to melt the cheddar over the small mound of cream cheese.


Serve the sliders on rolls topped with the charred hot pepper slices.

RESULTS

Incredible! Fantastic! My new favorite burger when I am craving a burger. Now that spring is finally here (I think), the weather just puts me in the mood for grilling. These burgers are a great recipe that is easy to make and really just offers something different, yet familiar at the same time. What I love about this recipe is that I didn't have to leave anything out to make it lean. I simply substituted lighter versions of a few ingredients; cream cheese, olive oil, cheddar and beef. Instead of leaving off the bun, we traded in a brioche roll for a whole wheat dinner roll; cutting calories and giving us a little more fiber. The results yielded a slider that is about 150 calories and 17 grams of fat leaner! Take a look...
NUTRITIONAL FACTS (per serving):

BEFORE: 418 calories;  25.13g fat;  23.3g carbohydrate;  25.42g protein;  1.2g fiber

AFTER: 271.68 calories;  7.84g fat;  24.11g carbohydrate;  25.75g protein;  3.43g fiber

SAVES & ADDS: 146.32 calories;  17.29g fat;  + .33g protein;  + 2.23g fiber

To make this slider a meal, pair with a large salad of mixed greens, a mixture of roasted vegetables or some corn on the cob. I am sure you and your family will LOVE this recipe as much as we do! Go ahead and dig in, 'cause loaded burgers CAN be a part of livin' lean. Enjoy!


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