Smoky Sweet Salmon Sliders

Accolades 2012 Finalists
Serves Makes 12 sliders, for 6 servings
Pairs well with:


Hard to pronounce yet easy to drink, this wine combines lychee fruit and white peach flavors with a hint of spice.

I had an entree of salmon with mashed potatoes at a restaurant near Evergreen, Colorado, and wanted to create a burger from the flavors in that dish.


6 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt 
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced capers
1 tablespoon minced shallot 
2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 1/2 pounds fresh wild-caught coho salmon
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon ground sea salt 
1 teaspoon ground pink peppercorns

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon

1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably medium-amber grade 
1/4 cup Mady’s Olde Tyme Beer Mustard or other whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons Sutter Home Gewürtztraminer

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons ground sea salt
2 cups potato sticks

12 King’s Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls, split
2 1/2 cups micro greens
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced


Heat half of a gas grill to medium (350 degrees F) and the other half to low (200 degrees F).

To make the spread, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the sliders.

To make the patties, remove and discard any pin bones from the salmon and then chop into fine dice; it should have the consistency of ground beef. Combine the salmon, breadcrumbs, cumin, and egg whites in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Form the mixture into 12 (2-ounce) patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with the salt and peppercorns.

Heat a fireproof griddle on the medium-heat side of of the grill. Add the bacon and cook until medium crisp, 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Drain accumulating fat from the griddle as needed and reserve. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and set aside until assembling the sliders. Remove the griddle from the grill, wipe with paper towels, and set aside.

To make the glaze, heat the syrup in a fireproof saucepan on the low-heat side of the grill. Combine the mustard and wine in a measuring cup. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the mustard mixture. Set aside.

Return the griddle to the medium-heat side of the grill and brush lightly with the reserved bacon fat. When the griddle is hot, add the patties and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn and brush the tops with the glaze. Sear for 2 minutes, then turn again and brush the tops with the glaze. Remove the patties to an aluminum foil pan and keep warm on the top shelf of the grill.

To make the potato sticks, mix the garlic powder, rosemary, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a 12-inch fireproof skillet on the medium-heat side of the grill. Add the potato sticks and heat until lightly toasted and oil starts to come out, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with the garlic-rosemary mixture. Transfer to an aluminum foil pan and keep warm on the low-heat side of the grill or on the top shelf of the grill.

Place the rolls, cut side down, on the griddle on the medium-heat side of the grill and toast until lightly golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

To assemble the sliders, spread 2 teaspoons of the spread on the cut sides of each roll. Place an equal portion of the greens on the bottom half of each roll, followed by 2 tomato slices, 1/2 slice bacon, a patty, 2 tablespoons potato sticks, and the roll top.