Slide a little heat into these burgers

Robin McDaniel
These Jalapeno Popper Sliders are a perfect size for lunch, dinner or as an appetizer.

These Jalapeno Popper Sliders are a perfect size for lunch, dinner or as an appetizer.

A fun alternative to traditional-sized hamburgers, sliders seem to have invaded more than a few menus lately. The great thing about making these at home is you can make them in as many different flavors as you like.

I was watching “The Rachael Ray” show on The Food Network the other day, and she was preparing these fun-size burgers that have a bit of a bite. They looked so good I knew this was something I wanted to try.

An added treat, serve them on Sister Schubert’s dinner rolls. I used the small dinner rolls I had on hand, but Sister Schubert’s would add that touch of yeasty sweetness.

If you are in a hurry for prep time, use the pre-sliced Kraft Cracker Cuts for the cheese. They come in a 5-ounce package with 15 slices. The cream cheese, onion and garlic mixture that tops these burgers are a wonderful, flavorful addition.

Jalapeno Popper Sliders

From Rachael Ray and The Food Network

3 fat, fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced in small rings

1 Fresno red Chile pepper, sliced

Extra Virgin Olive Oil or vegetable oil, for drizzling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons grated onion

1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. cumin

A small handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 lbs. coarse ground beef sirloin (leaner) or chuck (fattier)

1 2x2 inch rectangular brick sharp or smoked yellow cheddar cheese, sliced

12 slider rolls, such as 3-inch brioche rolls or Pepperidge Farm slider hamburger rolls, split

Heat a little Extra Virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno and Fresno peppers, and toss for a couple of minutes until crisp-tender.

Combine the cream cheese, onion, garlic, cilantro and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Form 12 patties (thinner in the center). Coat with Extra Virgin olive oil. Grill or griddle for 2 to 3 minutes.

Flip and top with some of the cream cheese mixture and sliced cheese.

Grill with the lid down (or tent with foil) until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve on the rolls topped with the pepper slices.

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