Big Mouth Bites – Sliders

1 ½ lbs ground beef
slider buns (or dinner rolls)
butter (for spreading)
salt and pepper
sliced American cheese (cut into 4 squares)
1/2 lb bacon (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)

Jalapeno-Ranch Dressing:
3 cups prepared ranch dressing
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (minced)
¼ cup pickled jalapeno pepper (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)

To make the jalapeno ranch dressing- in a blender combine ranch dressing, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, and tomato and blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Add the diced onion to the heated pan with the bacon grease and sauté until the onion is tender. Remove from the pan. Drain most about the bacon grease out of the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon.

Form the ground beef into small patties. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the skillet with the remaining bacon grease to medium-high heat. Add the hamburger patties and cook, turning once until the hamburgers are fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees). During the last few minutes of cooking top each patty with 2 of the cheese squares. Once the cheese has melted remove from the pan.

While the burgers are cooking, cut the slider buns in half and spread butter onto the cut side of each bun. Place cut side down into a separate skillet over medium heat and cook until golden brown on the bottom.

To assemble the sliders- spread a thin layer of the jalapeno-ranch dressing onto the top of the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer of crispy bacon and sautéed onion over the dressing. Place hamburger patty over the onion and bacon. Spread a thin layer of jalapeno-ranch dressing onto the bottom of the top half of each bun. Place the top half of the bun, cut-side down over the hamburger patties.

Serves 4-6

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