Preheat a grill pan on the stove top over medium heat, or heat an outdoor grill to medium. In a large bowl combine ground beef, 2 tablespoons of the Kansas City BBQ Sauce, the salt, and pepper; mix well. Shape meat mixture into nine 3/4-inch thick patties (when shaping the patties keep the size of your buns in mind as well as the fact that the burgers will shrink quite a bit while cooking). Make a small indentation with your thumb in the middle of each burger to prevent them from "bunching up" in the middle like a meatball.
Grill burgers for 2 to 3 minutes and then flip. Brush the top side of each burger with some of the remaining Kansas City BBQ Sauce. Continue grilling for another 2 minutes and flip burgers again, brushing the other side with additional sauce. Continue to cook and baste 10 minutes more or until the internal temperature of the burgers reach 160 degrees F to 165 degrees F.
To assemble, lightly spread the bottom of each bun with Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread and top with a lettuce leaf. Break each bacon piece in half and place bacon halves on top of lettuce leaves. Place burger on top and drizzle with additional Kansas City BBQ Sauce if desired. Top with a small handful of Crispy Shoestring Onions. Spread remaining Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread on top halves of buns. Place bun tops atop sliders.
Crispy Shoestring Potatoes
In a small saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Make sure to use a pot with sides as opposed to a skillet style pan so the oil doesn't boil over when you add the onions. Cut half of a medium onion in thin wedges and separate into strips. In a medium bowl whisk together egg and milk. In a second medium bowl combine all-purpose flour, teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Working with a handful of onion strips at a time, dip in egg mixture and let excess drip off. Then dredge in the flour mixture and toss lightly to coat. Place onions in hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove and place on folded paper towels to absorb oil. Repeat process with remaining onion strips.
Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread
In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, crumbled blue cheese (you can substitute the blue cheese with feta), red wine vinegar, minced garlic, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
NA: 93 cal., 1 g protein, 0 g carb., 10 g total fat, 7 mg chol., 2 g sat. fat, 0 g fiber, 1% vitamin A, 0% vitamin C, 155 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 0% iron.
Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
In a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot olive oil until onion is tender. Stir in apple juice, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until sauce is desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in horseradish.