Sweet Cherry Sliders

As we are deep in the midst of football season, it is time for a recipe that will be perfect for your next tailgate.  This tasty little burger came about when I was working on a contest that had to incorporate a canned or frozen fruit product.

The patty combines beef and hot Italian sausage and is topped with spicy chipotle gouda cheese.  Frozen cherries, thawed,  are incorporated into the recipe in two ways.  The first is in a spread combining them with cream cheese; the second is by adding them into sautéed onions  which have been lightly tossed with a bit of balsamic vinegar and bleu cheese.

If you are looking for a new and different tasty slider for your next get-together…give this little guy a try!

Sweet Cherry Sliders

Sweet Cherry Sliders

Sweet Cherry Sliders

12 ounces ground chuck
6 ounces hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup minced and 1 1/2 cups halved frozen sweet cherries, thawed, divided
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons minced sweet onion
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
6 ounces chipotle gouda cheese, thinly sliced
6 slider rolls, split
1/2 cup baby greens
Vegetable oil to grease grill

Preheat grill to medium heat.

In a large bowl, mix together the ground chuck, Italian sausage, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Form into 6 patties, making them slightly larger than the rolls. Place onto a large plate, cover and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese and minced cherries, set aside.

Place a medium skillet onto side burner of grill. Add butter and melt over medium-low heat. Add in the onions and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook until softened, approximately 4 – 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, cook for 1 minute. Add in the halved cherries and continue to cook until heated through, approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in bleu cheese; set side.

Lightly grease grill with vegetable oil. Place sliders onto grill and grill for 2 minutes, flip sliders over, top evenly with chipotle gouda cheese and continue to cook until sliders are cooked through and cheese has melted, approximately 2 more minutes. While sliders are cooking, place rolls, cut side down, around grill and lightly brown.

To assemble, place roll bottoms onto work surface, evenly spread with cherry/cream cheese mixture, top with baby greens, a slider, cherry/onion mixture, then the roll top.

Makes 6

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