Here’s a recipe re-do of one of Wolfgang Puck’s most popular post-Oscar appetizers that cuts calories and fat in half without sacrificing taste or texture: Mini Beef and Porcini Burgers with Vegan Cheddar and Skinny Red Pepper Remoulade.
Made with 100% grass fed beef--which has fewer calories and less fat than regular prime beef—these burgers are made even healthier by replacing 1/3 of the meat with flavorful and nutritious Porcini mushrooms.
Rather than a stove top remoulade made with 2 cups of heavy cream (1650 calories and 175 grams of fat) these baby burgers are dressed with a quick and easy sauce that’s whirled together in a food processor and has less than 15 calories a tablespoon.
We’ve even cut the calories in the buns…skipping the mini brioche rolls that have 120 calories in favor of frozen or refrigerated dough that can be reshaped into 40 calorie servings.
So whether you’re looking to serve mini burgers on Oscar night, a child’s birthday party or just a weeknight supper, consider these simple changes to make your burgers better…for your health and your waistline!
MINI BEEF AND PORCINI BURGERS
Note: This makes about 12 mini burgers, I usually double the recipe.
1/2 pound grass fed ground beef
2-3 T minced shallot
1 T minced parsley
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
Sliced or grated vegan cheddar (optional)
Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by soaking them in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Drain liquid (reserving for another use if you like), squeeze mushrooms in a couple of paper towels to remove excess water and chop fine.
Sear in non stick pan until just browned on either side and remove to a baking sheet and top with cheese, if using.
To finish, place in 500 degree oven on upper rack for 2-5 minutes until cheese has melted and meat has cooked through.
SKINNY RED PEPPER REMOULADE
1/2 c low-fat mayonnaise (Low-fat has 15 calories a tablespoon, reduced-fat has 60 and real mayo has about 100.)
(You can use jarred peppers but freshly roasted ones have better flavor. Place a medium pepper on foil, roast at 425 about 30 minutes until charred, wrap the foil around and seal to allow steam to loosen skins. After 20 minutes, simply pull the skins off with your fingers and discard seeds.)
2 T Dijon, Cajun or brown mustard
2 T lemon juice plus zest of small lemon
2 plump garlic cloves
1-2 T capers, drained and rinsed
1 T fresh parsley
Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the texture you prefer.
Will keep in the refrigerator up to a week.
BABY BURGER BUNS
You can use frozen bread dough and dinner rolls OR the types that come in the refrigerator section….the important thing is to read the labels so you know how many calories there are in each so you can reduce their size accordingly, aiming for 40 calories per mini bun.
If using those, cut each uncooked roll into quarters, reshape with your fingers to make them round again and cook not quite as long as the package suggests.
Frozen dinner rolls have fewer calories but are a bit smaller…those can be cut in half or in thirds. And whether you use rolls or loaf shaped dough, if you’d rather not use your hands, you can use a 2 inch cookie cutter for a fancier edge and a more uniform size.
For adults, I always dollop with a little remoulade, occasionally melt goat cheese instead of vegan cheddar and use herbs or arugula, tiny grape tomatoes, cornichons or olives to dress them up. I’ve even served them topless…. (Um, just to be clear, only the burgers were topless…)
PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD:
You can always use grass fed bison or lamb or even ground turkey rather than beef. When making the remoulade, if you don’t like capers, substitute dill pickles. And you can always add more spice or heat by bumping up the garlic and hot pepper flakes or add a few dashes of Tabasco.
RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE
Now that you know how to make a simple remoulade, try it on grilled fish or crabcakes.