Sunday, July 3, 2016

Buffalo Sliders with Cheddar, Burgundy Braised Onions and Red Potato Salad

     Gourmet Sliders!
     Buffalo (American Bison) is a perfect alternative meat choice for gourmet sliders.  Ground buffalo is lean, chemical free and is has plenty of flavor.  Buffalo tastes like good rich grass fed beef and the flavor is far from gamey tasting.
     Starting with good slider patty meat is the first step.  Deciding on a slider topping is next.  Gourmet slider toppings do not have to be exotic to be great.  A classic flavor combination can work well too.  Sharp cheese and red wine is a classic flavor.  When onions are braised with red wine, the onions naturally sweeten the wine as it reduces to a glaze.  The slightly sweetened deep red wine flavor pairs nicely with sharp cheddar and the rich flavor of buffalo.
     Red Potato Salad is a traditional Louisiana recipe.  Finely minced red bell pepper is what gives the potato salad a red color.  Red Potato Salad has a garden fresh summertime flavor.

     Focaccia Dough:
     Follow this link to the Pizza Dough recipe in this website.  An option for making Focaccia Pizza Dough is mentioned in the recipe.
     • Pizza Dough

     Focaccia Slider Rolls:
     Step 1:  Cut walnut size focaccia dough portions.
     Roll the dough portions into smooth ball shapes.
     Place the dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking pan and space them about 3" apart from each other.
     Step 2:  Brush the dough balls with olive oil.
     Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt and coarse ground back pepper on the dough balls.  (optional)
     Step 3:  Let the dough rise and proof.
     Step 4:  Bake the slider rolls in a 425ºF oven till they are a light golden color.
     Step 5:  Place the pan on a cooling rack.
     Set the Focaccia Slider Rolls aside.

     Red Potato Salad:
     This recipe yields 2 to 3 portions.  (About 2 1/4 cups.)
     Step 1:  Boil an 8 ounce peeled russet potato till it is fully cooked, but not mushy.
     Cool the cooked potato under cold running water.
     Cut the potato into large diced cube shaped pieces.
     Place the diced potato in a mixing bowl.
     Chill the potato in a refrigerator.
     Step 2:  Place 1 red bell pepper in a 300ºF oven.
     Roast till the pepper starts to become tender.
     Let the pepper cool to room temperature.
     Trim the stem and seeds off of the red bell pepper.
     Mince the red bell pepper.  (Or puree in a food processor.)
     Step 3:  Add 1/4 cup of the minced red bell pepper to the diced potato in the mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon of small chopped onion.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Creole Mustard (or Dijon Mustard).
     Add 2 pinches of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 4:  Add just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together.  (About 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup.)
     Gently mix the ingredients together.
     Place the potato salad in a container.
     Chill the Red Potato Salad to 41ºF in a refrigerator.

     Burgundy Braised Onions:
     This recipe yields enough for 3 sliders.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 cup of thick sliced onion.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 1 cup of Burgundy Wine.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Gently simmer till the wine reduces to a thin glaze consistency that easily clings to the onions.
     Keep the Burgundy Braised Onions warm on a stove top.

     Buffalo Sliders with Cheddar, Burgundy Braised Onions and Red Potato Salad:
     This recipe yields 3 sliders.
     Buffalo is best cooked to a rare to medium finish temperature.
     Step 1:  Heat a cast iron griddle over medium/medium low heat.
     Split 3 slider rolls in half.
     Brush them with melted unsalted butter.
     Grill the slider rolls, till they are toasted.
     Step 2:  Spread a little bit of mayonnaise on the rolls.
     Garnish each roll with a piece of lettuce leaf and 1 slice of plum tomato.
     Set the slider roll set-ups aside.
     Step 3:  Measure 3 portions of ground buffalo meat that weigh about 2 ounces apiece.
     Use a ring mold to press the ground buffalo portions into 3 slider patties.
     Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 4:  Raise the temperature of the griddle to medium heat.
     Spread 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter on the griddle.
     Place the buffalo slider patties on the griddle.
     Step 5:  When the sliders are halfway cooked, flip them over.
     Immediately place a slices of sharp cheddar cheese on top of each slider.
     Finish grilling the sliders till they are rare to medium.  (The cheese will melt by this time.)
     Step 6:  Place the buffalo sliders on the garnished slider rolls
     Place the 3 sliders on a plate.
     Place a portion of Burgundy Braised Onions on each slider.
     Lean the slider roll tops against the sliders.
     Place a portion of Red Potato Salad on a bed of leaf lettuce on the plate.

     These fancy little bite size buffalo sliders will put a smile on a gourmet slider lover's face!

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