The Angry Chef’s Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Cumin-Dusted Grilled Zucchini

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Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Nothing says summer like burgers on the barbecue. This twist on standard grilled fare is made with ground buffalo—a healthier and higher protein alternative to beef—and is loaded with spicy, Asian flavors. For those folks on a high-protein/low-carb diet like Atkins, we’ve included a second version that’s encrusted with black sesame seeds and served with grilled zucchini slices (and no bun).

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

The sesame seeds form a really nice crust on the burgers.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

This is one of The Angry Chef’s signature recipes. He’s been making them for years and they’re always one of the first things to disappear when we have a barbecue.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

His mouthwatering spice mixture includes ground peppers, chilis, onion, garlic, and star anise. Teriyaki and mushroom soy add an earthy note to the burgers. They get a decent amount of heat from Tabasco and ground chipotle peppers.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

An Atkins-friendly way to barbecue

Buffalo meat is some of the leanest, healthiest meat out there. Because of that, it’s a great staple in any kind of high-protein Atkins-type diet. And because buffalo is so lean, fast, high-heat cooking methods like grilling help keep the meat juicy and moist.

Well, hello

Well, hello! I may not look like it, but I’m delicious!

This article includes instructions for making an Atkins-friendly burger that’s encrusted with black sesame seeds. We like to serve it with Cumin-Dusted Grilled Zucchini, since zucchini is one of the lowest-carb veggies out there.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Diet aside, zucchini is just plain delicious grilled like this. I mean, slices of zucchini bathed in olive oil, dusted with cumin and garlic salt, then grilled to smoky perfection? Yes, please!

Is buffalo better than beef?

More and more markets in the Boston area are carrying ground buffalo meat. Here are a few reasons to give ground buffalo a shot:

  • Buffalo has 70% to 90% less fat (depending upon the cut of the meat.)
  • Buffalo has an average if 50% less cholesterol than beef.
  • Buffalo is 30% higher in protein and has less calories than beef.

One word of caution: Beware of overcooking buffalo meat. It’s really lean, which means it can dry out faster than beef because of its lack of fat. Keep an eye on the grill, and you’ll be just fine.

The best tool to flip a burger

It may sound silly, but one of The Angry Chef’s secret grilling weapons is, well, a fish spatula. Not something you normally see next to a grill, but it’s one of the best tools we’ve found for burger flipping.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

It’s thin and flexible, which helps you turn the meat without any damage to the burger. (Which is just why it’s great for delicate fish.) It’s also nice and wide, and will securely fit most burgers.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

I’ve had this spatula for years, and I can’t say enough about it. I got mine at the Lamson Sharp factory outlet in Shelburne Falls, MA. (If you’re ever in the area, definitely swing by this place. It’s packed to the gills with great deals on quality kitchen tools.)

Amazon also sells them here for about $23. A wee bit steep for a spatula, but totally worth it.

Can I get a cocktail with that, Miss. Mouse?

Why, certainly! How about a refreshing, juicy lime cocktail? (Lime juice + Fresca + Triple Sec + vodka.)

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Coming right up!

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Alrighty! Let’s fire up the grill!

Spicy Buffalo Burgers

1 1/2 lbs. ground buffalo
1 1/2 Tbls. garlic powder
1 Tbls. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbls. dried parsley
3/4 Tbls. Chinese star anise
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp. chipotle
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 1/2 Tbls. mushroom soy sauce
2 Tbls. Teriyaki sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Black sesame seeds, optional

Buns
Sliced cheese (we used a blend of Munster, American, and Swiss)

Yields 2 monstrous burgers, or 3-4 smaller ones

Cumin-Dusted Grilled Zucchini

2 zucchini
olive oil
ground cumin
garlic salt

Serves 3-4 as a side

Make the buffalo burger mixture

Grab your ground buffalo.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Add the garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, white pepper, dried parsley, star anise, paprika, chipotle, and chili powder to the ground buffalo.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Knead the spices into the meat with your hands until the mixture is uniform.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Drizzle on the teriyaki sauce and mushroom soy.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Splash on some Tabasco, to taste.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Knead the mixture again with your hands to work the liquids into the meat.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Form the buffalo burger patties

Split the meat up into 2 even hunks (or 3 or 4, depending on how many burgers you’re making). Form each hunk into a ball.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Then smoosh and shape each ball into a patty. Make them as thick or thin as you like.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

For the Atkins-friendly version of this burger, sprinkle the patties with black sesame seeds.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Press the seeds into the meat. Roll the patty to coat the edges, as well.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Set your patties aside on a plate.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Prep the zucchini

Grab your zucchini. Give them a rinse under cold water and pat them dry.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Cut each end off one zucchini. Stand it on end and cut it into long slices.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

You want them to be maybe about a quarter-of-an-inch thick.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Repeat with the other zucchini. Drizzle the slices with olive oil.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Sprinkle with a little ground cumin and garlic salt.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Mix the slices with your hands to distribute the oil and spices.

Fire up the grill!

Now that you’ve prepped the meat and veggies, it’s time to hit the grill. Heat the grill for about 15 minutes until it’s at least 425 to 450 degrees.

Drop on the burgers and spread out the zucchini slices.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

The zucchini slices will only take a minute or two.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Flip them when you see nice, black grill marks underneath.

The Angry Chef's Spicy Buffalo Burgers at The Hungry Mouse

The zucchini will be done before the burgers. That’s just fine. Transfer them to a plate and set them aside.

The Angry Chef's Spicy Buffalo Burgers at The Hungry Mouse

We like to serve this dish at room temperature, kind of like a salad.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

After a few minutes, flip the burgers. (Ultimately, how long you cook ’em will depend on how thick they are.)

The Angry Chef's Spicy Buffalo Burgers at The Hungry Mouse

Let them cook on that side for a few minutes. If they’re not done to your liking, flip ’em one more time. (At the most, try to keep it to 2 flips per side—a secret to having your burgers stay intact is to not excessively molest them.)

The Angry Chef's Spicy Buffalo Burgers at The Hungry Mouse

Top with cheese when they’re just about done.

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Leave them on the grill for a minute or two so the cheese can melt.

The Angry Chef's Spicy Buffalo Burgers at The Hungry Mouse

Serve hot (with or without bun/zucchini).

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Enjoy!

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

Spicy Buffalo Burgers with Grilled Zucchini at The Hungry Mouse

 

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

11 COMMENTS

  1. simply amazing! You know how much Hurley and I love burgers, I’m loving the cheese, seasoning, and the addition of the sauces as well.

    I’ve had buffalo once and I was blow away by how tender and juicy it was. I can imagine that burger was pure bliss! hehehe

  2. Buffalo Burgers?

    How about Buffalo Wings???

    Lovely recipe!!! Not sure if I can find buffalo in my neck of the woods. You mentioned Whole Foods carries it?

    Gabi @ Mamaliga

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