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Smoky Buffalo Burger
“Here we flavor sweet, beefy buffalo (bison) with smoked cheese and smoky barbecue sauce. Instead of being melted on top, cheese is used here to season the meat—adding moisture and smoky flavor inside the burger. Wild rice bulks up the serving size (and adds vitamins and minerals), while keeping it lean. Plus the flavor and chewy texture are a wonderful complement to the meat. If you can't find buffalo in your store, substitute 90%-lean ground beef.”
1 pound ground buffalo, (bison)
½ cup cooked wild rice, (see Tip)
½ cup shredded smoked cheese, such as Cheddar, Gouda or mozzarella
2 tablespoons smoky barbecue sauce, divided
1 tablespoon paprika, preferably sweet Hungarian
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pepper relish, or pickle relish
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
4 slices tomato
4 thin slices sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1Preheat grill to medium.
2Place meat, rice, cheese, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, paprika, mustard, garlic, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, ½ to ¾ inch thick.
3Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, relish and horseradish in a small bowl.
4Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 155°F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
5Assemble the burgers on buns with the barbecue mayonnaise sauce, tomato and onion.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the barbecue mayonnaise (Step 3) for up to 5 days.
Tips: Be sure to plan ahead for cooking the wild rice—it takes 40 to 50 minutes. To cut down on cooking time, look for “quick” wild rice—a whole-grain rice that cooks in less than 30 minutes—or “instant” wild rice that's done in 10 minutes or less.
To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.