Friday, September 30, 2011

Pesto Chicken Burger Sliders with Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto-Hummus

Alright, I'm going be blunt. I'm pretty proud of this one. This was another instance of some weird culinary vision that I created in my head and couldn't seem to shake until I saw it executed. My first thought was to make chicken burgers, since I'm steering clear from red meat for a while but really love burgers. (This? And this?! I've made my case.) Then immediately I thought, "You know what I love more than burgers? Burger sliders!" I don't know what it is, but they're just so damn cute! And juicy. And you're eating less, even if you have four of them, right?

Anyway, Dylan and I made these last Friday before going out, and when I say they were amazing, that's an understatement. The pesto and lemon hummus spread is the perfect melt-in-your-mouth topping for these succulent chicken burgers, and the slightly warmed, soft ciabatta rolls made the whole burger literally melt with each bite. The best way to sum up these burgers is to quote Dylan's reaction. He's fairly honest with my cooking, and he never gushes unless I really hit the jackpot. So when he said, "I don't even want to go out anymore because this is already the best part of my night," I knew I found a recipe (and a boy) worth keeping.

Pesto Chicken Burger Sliders with Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto-Hummus
Makes: 5 sliders  Prep: 15 minutes  Total: 30 minutes

1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup pesto
3 tbs egg whites
Salt and pepper
6 tbs lemon hummus
5 large roasted red peppers
5 mini ciabatta rolls

Combine ground chicken, egg whites, and 2 tablespoons of pesto into a medium bowl and mix with hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once incorporated, form the meat into 5 mini burger patties. In a large skillet, fry the burgers for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked and the juices run clear.
For the pesto and lemon hummus spread, combine the remaining pesto (6 tsp) with the lemon hummus. Before serving, briefly warm the ciabatta rolls in the oven and layer a generous amount of the hummus spread on the top bun. Assemble the burgers and serve with sweet potato fries.

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