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Playing Jalapeño Popper Sliders


  • 3 fat, fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 1 Fresno red chili pepper, sliced
  • EVOO 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 teaspoon cumin
  • A small handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds coarse ground beef sirloin (leaner) or chuck (fattier)
  • 1 2x2" 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


Serves: Makes 12 sliders


Cut tops off the jalapeños and, using an apple corer or fork handle, scoop out seeds and slice. If using Fresno peppers, slice with seeds intact as they are milder.

Heat a little oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and toss a couple of minutes to char peppers at edges. Peppers should remain tender-crisp.

Combine softened cream cheese with onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro.

Season meat with salt and pepper, and form 12 patties that are thinner at the center for even cooking and flat tops once cooked. Drizzle meat with oil then cook on a hot griddle or grill 2-3 minutes, flip and top with a spoon of cream cheese and set in place with sliced cheese. Cook 2-3 minutes more with grill top down or topped with tin foil tent to melt cheddar over the small mound of cream cheese.

Serve on rolls topped with seared hot pepper slices.