Heart Healthy – Bronco Burger Vs. Seattle Seahawks Salmon Sliders

From Dr. Richard Collins, M.D. “The Cooking Cardiologist”

Bronco Burger Sliders

Ask anyone in Denver, what’s Denver’s most famous food? It would be the Denver omelet or sandwich.

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. We all know of the connection of the Broncos and the quarterback Peyton Manning to “Omaha”, a secret code word used on the scrimmage line. However, few people know of the hamburger drive-ins that are in Omaha. I grew up in Omaha with a Bronco Burger stand just down the street. They are Bronco’s; in fact, only two hamburger spots are still in existence. Their signage is to the right. Their claim to fame is quality burgers at a fair price with their famous secret Bronco sauce.

So here is my take on what I claim is the Official Bronco Burger of Denver and not even related to the Omaha variety. It has Colorado ingredients with bison as the burger using of course orange and blue garnishes. The jalapeño blueberry ketchup is something that will kick you and your horse into a great ride.

For the blueberry jalapeño ketchup (enough for 16 sliders):

2 cup fresh blueberries, washed and sorted
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T brown sugar
1 T rice vinegar
2 T ketchup
1 t crushed red pepper
1 shallot finely chopped
1 t olive oil
½ t salt
Pepper to preference

In a blender, combine the blueberries and the jalapeno. Blend until smooth. In a medium sauce pan, add the olive oil and shallots. Sauté until softened. Add the blended blueberries, mustard, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and thicken for 5-10 minutes and cool. There is enough ketchup to double the recipe (16 sliders) and it can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.

For the slider:

1 pound lean ground buffalo
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
½ t pepper
2 orange bell peppers, halved and seeded
8 slices of reduced fat or fat free cheddar or American cheese

8 slider buns, warmed or slightly toasted

In a bowl, combine the ground buffalo, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, but do not over mix the ground buffalo. Form 8 patties. Prepare the bell peppers by slicing into matchstick sized thin strips.

If using a grill, coat the grill surface with oil and grill the burgers turning once to bring the internal temperature to at least 1600F. For the last 2 minutes, top each burger with the cheese, allowing it to melt. Serve on slider buns, garnish with the sliced orange bell peppers and blueberry ketchup.

Serves 8. Serving size: 1 slider.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 158, Total Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 539 mg, Carbohydrates: 26 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 21 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 ½ Carbohydrate, ½ Fat, 3 Protein

Seattle Seahawks Salmon Sliders

Seattle and salmon both start with an “S” and are known accordingly. I believe Seattle keeps the good salmon and ships the rest to us. These salmon patties can be obtained fresh from Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. They can over-night fresh salmon or throw the fish all the way to your home, at least that is what they do in the market. Below is their recipe as provided on the internet. Following the recipe is my fish sauce, perfect for the salmon burger. If you are making these burgers from scratch, take this recipe to any one of the Savory Spice Shops in Denver. They can give you the necessary ingredients to make the rub and seasoning.


For patties
1 pound boneless, skinless wild salmon, finely chopped
4 teaspoons avocado or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Our Own Rub
1 teaspoon Northwest Seafood Seasoning
1 cup panko

For Our Own Rub:
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 cup dried cilantro
11/2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground celery seed
1/4 cup dried granulated onion
1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle chile

Northwest Seafood Seasoning
1/3 cup dried minced garlic
1/3 cup dried granulated onion
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
4 teaspoons dried granulated lemon peel
1/3 cup dried dill
1/3 cup paprika
2 tablespoons celery seed
1/2 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup medium-grind black pepper
For the rub: Combine the brown sugar, paprika, cilantro, fennel seed, garlic pepper, salt, celery seed, onion, and chipotle in a bowl. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months. (While Pike Place states up to six months, The Cooking Cardiologist suggests that it is best to store no longer than 8 weeks to maintain the freshness of the aromatics).
For Northwest Seafood Seasoning: Combine the garlic, onion, salt, lemon peel, dill, paprika, celery seed, parsley, and pepper in a bowl. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months (See note above).
For patties: Place the chopped salmon in a large bowl and add 2 teaspoons of the avocado oil, the rub, and the seafood seasoning. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Add the panko and mix to combine.
Form the mixture evenly into 8 patties; packing them firmly around the edges so they don’t fall apart (we use a burger press at the shop). Each patty should be between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick.
Preheat a skillet (cast iron works well) over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of avocado oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is nearly smoking, add the patties and cook for 3 minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The patties may also be grilled over medium-high heat for the same amount of time.

Three-flavored sauce…wonderful flavors of vinegar, dill and licorice.


½ cup fat free mayonnaise
1 1/2 t dried dill weed
1 t anisette or Pernod®

Combine all three ingredients. To increase the dill flavor, add more dill weed. The licorice flavor should be subtle, but can be adjusted to preference. Pernod® is found in the alcohol section. Anisette is located in the cooking spice section of the grocery store.
Serving Size: 1 Burger
Makes 8 servings
Nutrition Info: (Does not include the Rub or the Seafood Seasoning) Calories: 160, Total Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 27 mg, Sodium: 224 mg, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 13 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Carbs, 1 Fat, 2 Protein