By Jessica Roy Sigh, my favorite time of year has come and gone again. Well, at least there's still football!

While watching the Brady/Belichick Bunch, especially during those white-knuckled, anxiety-ridden match-ups, game day snacks are of utmost importance. My favorite football food usually comes in the form you can eat with your fingers. I love being able to snack and graze the whole time. I find that it calms the nerves a little ...

Cue the sliders! Baby burger bites satisfy the craving, but allow you to go back for more. Inspired by a burger a great friend of mine made for me many years ago, these Teriyaki Blue Cheese Sliders pack a huge flavor punch. You'll notice here that I call for the burgers to be baked. This really helps to create a juicy and tender burger, and much like the cooking of a meatball, allows for the full infusion of

flavors. So give your grill a rest this week, and get cookin'!

Teriyaki Blue Cheese Sliders with Wasabi Aioli

Makes 12 sliders

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lbs. ground beef

1 whole head roasted garlic (see below, set aside 1 roasted clove)

1 Tbs. olive oil (for roasting garlic)

4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

4 Tbs. teriyaki saice

Salt

Pepper

1 dozen rolls

Lettuce

Wasabi aioli

1. To roast garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set garlic in the center of a piece of tin foil. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Wrap into a sealed foil packet. Bake for 25 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool to the touch.

2. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a bowl. Mash with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Add ground beef, blue cheese, teriyaki sauce, about 1/4 tsp. salt and a dash of black pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands until all ingredients are well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Remove the mixture from the fridge, and form into patties about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2-3/4 in. thick. Lay the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake burgers at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

5. Serve sliders on a fresh roll with a dollop of wasabi aioli and a crisp lettuce leaf.

Wasabi Aioli

Aioli ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise

1-2 Tbs. wasabi powder (depends on your heat preference)

1 clove roasted garlic

Salt

Pepper

In a bowl, mash garlic clove into a paste. Mix together all remaining ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

Jessica Roy is a private chef, specialty caterer and author of foodie blog, Shiso Fresh. Follow her at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/yourpersonalchef.