Reinventing the Slider or Thank You White Castle

             

Ever hear of a guy named Walter Anderson? Well, he’s the culinary genius who gave us White Castle and the world famous concept of the slider (they call it a slyder, just so we’re clear here). Thanks to good ole Walt, we can all chow down on lots of teeny tiny burgers and call ourselves gourmets. While my youth was spent gobbling down those 2 ½ in square mouthfuls of ground beef and onions my adult years have seen me take my fascination with these burger babies to a whole new level.

This mini teeny tiny burgers craze has been sweeping low and high eating establishments for years now and I’ve taken it upon myself to sample quite a few of the more outlandish ones. Sliders are smaller than the super sized fast food staples we’ve grown accustomed to but small in size doesn’t mean it has to be small in the flavor department. Your sliders don’t have to be limited to beef they can be a reinvented by using chicken, or fish or even veggies.

If sliders are guilty pleasures then lock me up and throw away the key. Better yet, put me in the kitchen with these following recipes and sentence me to a life time of eating these delicious treats.

 Note: The best way to assemble and serve your sliders is to place all the sliced rolls (toasted if you prefer them that way) on a platter and  top each bottom, in an assembly line fashion with the lettuce, tomatoes, dressing, ketchup, mayo or mustard you’re using.

 

MUSHROOM AND BEEF SLIDERS

 

3 pounds ground beef

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon margarine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb sliced mushrooms (your choice but I like to use at least 2 different kinds)

1 red onion diced

2 tablespoons white wine

Dijon mustard and mayonnaise to taste

12 dinner rolls

 

Melt margarine and olive oil in large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, onion and wine and sauté just until the mushrooms and onions are soft, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set the vegetables aside. In a bowl combine the ground beef, salt, and pepper in bowl, divide the meat into 4 ounces patties. You can cook them on a grill or in a grill pan. Toast the buns slightly and spread the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard on them.  Place beef patty on bottom bun and spoon the mushroom and onion mixture over the patty and top with the remaining bun.  Makes 12.

 

Submitted by Art Rostburn Trenton NJ

 

HOT LOX SLIDERS

 

1 lb lox (smoked salmon)

4 green onions, minced

2 tablespoons fresh minced dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

pepper

1 egg

3 to 4 tablespoon breadcrumbs

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

8 small dinner rolls, toasted

8 slices cucumber

8 slices of avocado 

 

Place the lox in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to get smallish pieces. Be careful not to make it a puree. Place the minced lox in a bowl and add the, egg, bread crumbs, green onions, dill, and lemon juice, mustard and olive oil. Season with pepper. Form the mixture into 8 small patties. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and lightly sear both sides of the patty and immediately place it on the bottom half of toasted roll. Top with a cucumber and avocado slice and place the top on top. Makes 8

 

CARAMELIZED ONION TURKEY SLIDERS

 

Onions:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

Pinch salt and pepper

2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

 

Burger:

1 lb ground turkey

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 cup mayonnaise

salt and pepper

8 rolls

 

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet. Saute the celery and green onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set the mixture aside.

 

In the same skillet, heat 2 more teaspoons olive oil. When oil is hot saute the onions with the sugar and season with salt and pepper and cook. Saute about 15 20 minutes until the onions are golden, stir occasionally.

 

In a bowl combine the ground turkey, Tabasco sauce, smoked paprika, mayonnaise and cooked onion and celery mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Gently combine the ingredients. Make 8 small patties. Either spray a skillet with non stick spray or heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Cook until the bottoms are just turning brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the burgers, baste with bbq sauce and cook 4 more minutes. Flip once again, baste it with the bbq sauce and cook for 2 or 3 more minutes. Place patty in bun and top with caramelized onions. Makes 8.

 

LAMB SLIDERS WITH MOCK YOGURT SAUCE

 

Sauce:

1/2 cup mock yogurt

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons grated cucumber

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste

 

Burgers:

1 1/2 pound lean ground lamb

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tsp salt

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 to 10 small rolls, split (mini sandwich rolls or small dinner rolls work great)

Preparation:

 

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine  the mock yogurt, garlic, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, pepper and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

To make the lamb burgers: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Form the mixture into 8 to 10 small, thin patties. Heat a skillet (cast iron is good to use) over high heat and brush with oil. Add the lamb burgers and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side for medium.

 

Lightly toast the rolls, then place a lamb burger in each and top with the sauce. Makes 8 to 10.

 

Modified from epicurious

 

CHICKEN AND VEGGIE SLIDERS

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 can (7 ounces) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

8 small buns

1/2 cup minced mushrooms (I like portabella)

8 tomatoes slices

2 cups bean sprouts

 

 Heat the oil in a skillet. Saute the pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic in the skillet until they start to get a little soft. Add the chicken, barbecue sauce, chipotles and 1/4 cup water; cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove chicken from sauce; place on a plate to cool for 5 minutes. Shred the chicken and return it to the sauce stirring to coat. Place the bottom half of the buns on a cookie sheet. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between them and then top with tomato slices and the sprouts. Top with the top of the bun, secure with a tooth pick and serve.  Makes 8

 

Modified from Self magazine recipe (date unknown)

 

SHRIMP SLIDERS

 

1 1/4 pounds salmon filets chopped (not too small)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lemon juice

A few dashes of hot sauce

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3 green onions, chopped, green and white parts

1 1/4 cups crushed crackers (approx 24 crackers)

12 mini buns, split

Toppings: tartar sauce, sliced red onions, cucumber slices (at least 24)

 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray. In a bowl combine the egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, Old Bay, salt, pepper, cilantro, green onions. Fold in the chopped salmon and cracker crumbs, the mixture will be very thick. Shape the mixture into 12 patties. Place the patties on the cookie sheet and cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least one hour (you can refrigerate overnight).

 

To Bake:

Preheat oven to 375. Place baking sheet with shrimp patties in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and shrimp have turned pink.

 

To Pan-Fry:

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp patties 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

 

To Finish:

Place the patties on bottom halves of buns, top with tartar sauce, red onions, and 2 cucumber slices each. Makes 12 sliders or 4 full-sized burgers;

 

Adapted Southern Living Magazine (date unknown)

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Yo Yo Yogurt

           
After watching Jamie Lee Curtis touting the benefits and joy of regularity that comes with of eating of Activia ® I was filled  with a fair amount of trepidation (and a few really good one liners) as I approached this column about yogurt. I figured I’d take a pass on the gas jokes and just get down to the basics of writing about the benefits and good stuff that comes from consuming of good old fashioned yogurt.
So what exactly is yogurt? While some of the less informed may immediately think of the creamy sweet stuff in little plastic tubs with fruit on the bottom or the frozen custard like stuff with flavors like caramel crème and chocolate mousse plain yogurt is actually milk that has had bacteria added to it. This good for you bacteria causes the milk to ferment and thicken. This fermented thick mixture is strained and the liquid is drained off. The end result is a tangy creamy mixture that has the consistency of sour cream. Besides being delicious yogurt is also full of calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Regular yogurt is strained once or twice, the new kid on the block, Greek yogurt is, however, strained three times (or more) making for a much thicker and denser consistency.
           Which yogurt is better for you to utilize when climbing the food pyramid, you ask? On one hand Greek yogurt has almost double the protein and fewer carbohydrates than regular yogurt. However, regular yogurt has three times the calcium as the Greek variety so choose which ever one works best for you. Finally, it’s really a tossup when it comes to calories (watch what you add to it) and if price is your only concern the Greek yogurt is typically far more expensive.
On the technical side, I prefer to use Greek yogurt to replace cream cheese, sour cream, or ricotta cheese in baking or cooking. The regular yogurt tends to curdle more than the Greek variety when you cook with it.  I gravitate towards regular yogurt when I’m making dips, salad dressing, smoothies, desserts and sauces. When you add fresh fruit either variety works great.
So if there was a smack down cooking cage match between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt which should you bet on and buy? The answer is that it’s a draw you win with both and whoever gets to eat what you make takes home the prize.
   
Yogurt Tips:
1. Use yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream to reduce calories and fat.
2. Add yogurt to your marinades. Its high acid content is a great tenderizer.
3.  Add yogurt near the end of the cooking process to prevent curdling.
4. Use yogurt as a substitute for buttermilk, sour cream, or butter to reduce calories and fat in baking.
5. Don’t use aluminum pans when cooking with yogurt, the acid could cause a negative reaction.
YOGURT MASHED CAULIFLOWER

2 heads of cau¬li¬flower (flo¬rets only)
6 oz con¬tainer of Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons but¬ter
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 to 1 tablespoon mince garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 to 3 chopped green onions for gar¬nish
Salt and pep¬per to taste

In a medium pot, bring the water to boil. Add the cau¬li¬flower flo¬rets to the boil¬ing water and let then cook it for about 8 min¬utes or until they are soft. Remove the florets from the heat and drain then in a colander. In a food proces¬sor, com¬bine the cau¬li¬flower with the yogurt, but¬ter, gar¬lic and minced onion and process with pulses until you have a con¬sis¬tency you like. Add the salt and pep¬per to taste. Immediately spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and mix in the parmesan. Top with green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

GREEK YOGURT BERRY PIE
You can use a readymade pie crust if you like

Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoons water

Yogurt Cream Cheese Filling:
6 oz. Mascarpone cheese
8 oz Greek yogurt
4 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 cups mixed berries
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
In a mixing bowl combine the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut the butter in the flour mixture. Add the water the mixture. Mix with a fork until the dough is just moistened. Shape crust dough into a ball with your hands, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle and then fold it in half then in half again. Place it in a tart pan with a removable bottom and unfold.  Press the dough evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the crust completely on a wire rack.

In the bowl of a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When ready to assemble the pie spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the tart shell. Sprinkle the berries over the top of the filling. In a glass bowl heat the jam slightly and then drizzle the warm jam over the top of the berries. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Modified from about.com

SEAFOOD LASAGNA

1 large egg, beaten to blend
salt and pepper to taste
12 to 15 lasagna noodles, cooked
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. butter
6 tbs. all purpose flour
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups Stonyfield Farm Lowfat (1%) Organic Milk
2 cups Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt (or substitute with yogurt cheese)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere
1 lb. lobster meat (slightly undercooked if possible), coarsely chopped
1 lb. small shrimp (uncooked)
1 lb. small scallops (uncooked)

Whisk flour in heavy medium saucepan to remove any lumps. Gradually add 1 cup milk, whisking until smooth. Add remaining 2 cups milk and nutmeg; whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in Parmesan, egg and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead, just cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat until heated through before using; do not boil. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine lobster, shrimp, and scallops together In a separate bowl fold together 1 1/4 cup gruyere, 1 1/4 cup mozzarella and yogurt. In 8 1/2 by 11 inch baking dish, start by coating the bottom of the dish with a thin layer of white sauce; next add a layer of lasagna noodles placing tightly together, cut to fit if necessary. Spread 1/3 of yogurt and cheese mixture, and sprinkle with 1/3 seafood. Repeat layers 2 times ending with lasagna noodles. Finish the top with white sauce and sprinkled with remaining cheese. Cook for 35 minutes on top of sheet pan in case it bubbles over

From stoneyfield.com

ZUCCHINI GRIDDLE CAKES WITH YOGURT SAUCE

3 to 4 medium zucchini, shredded
Salt and pepper
3  eggs, beaten
1/2 cup  flour
1 tablespoon  olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh dill or 2 tablespoons dried
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 to 6 tablespoons oil (or more as needed)

Yogurt sauce
2/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons minced cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl or in the sink and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drain for five to 10 minutes and then place the zucchini in a towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Try squeezing it a second time just to make sure you got all the liquid out. Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the eggs. Mix to combine. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, mozzarella, green onions dill and pepper. Mix and add the baking powder. Mix to combine. Place the griddle on the heat and brush 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil on the surface Spoon heaping tablespoons of the batter several inches apart so they have room to spread (don’t make them too big). They may need to be flattened slightly. Cook until they are golden on one side (3 to 4 minutes) and then flip them and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. The griddle cakes should be crispy. You can make them up ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven. Serve hot. Makes 12

For yogurt sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, cucumber and salt. Mix well, and serve on the side or on pancakes.

Submitted by Brian Zimmerman NY, NY

APPLE AND CARROT YOGURT SALAD

1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 carrots, peeled and shredded (3 1/2 cups)
2 apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch sticks (3 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded jicama
1 head red leaf lettuce, torn in to bite size pieces
1 cup chopped pecans

In a salad bowl combine the yogurt, vinegar, pepper, salt and parsley in a bowl. Add the carrots, apples, jicama and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to soften the vegetables slightly. Place the lettuce on a platter and then spoon the apple mixture over the top.  Sprinkle the pecans on the top and serve. Serves 6
 
.
AVOCADO AND MANGO WITH SPICY TAHINI YOGURT DRESSING
I
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
3 mangos, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the dressing combine the yogurt and tahini in a bowl and whisk them together until smooth. Add the cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne and whisk to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Divide the avocado and mango slices between 6 plates. Spoon the dressing over and sprinkle with almonds.

Modified from Taste of Israel by Avi Ganor and Ron Maiberg

.
FRESH HERB TUNA PASTA WITH YOGURT DILL SAUCE

1 cup orzo pasta
3 green onions (sliced thin tops included)
1 green bell pepper (minced fine)
1 red bell pepper (minced fine)
2 tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup black or kalmata olives (finely diced)
2 eggs (hardboiled finely diced)
2 teaspoon fresh dill (finely minced)
1 tablespoons dill (fresh, finely minced)
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt
6 oz water (tuna, drained)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
 salt
 pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse under cold water to quick chill, drain well and pour into large mixing bowl.  Stir in green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, egg, fresh herbs, mustard, and parsley; mixing well.  Add the lemon juice, yogurt, tuna and cheese, mix well; add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a sliced bell pepper slice, sliced tomato or additional cheese if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitted by Sharon Barlone West Bloomfield MI
RIGATONI WITH YOGURT LIME SAUCE

4 cups cooked rigatoni pasta
2 cups frozen peas
1 red pepper diced small

Sauce:
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon minced garlic
Zest of lime
Lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced thin
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, in a bowl combine the yogurt, garlic, and lime zest. Mix to combine and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.  Stir well and set aside.

Just before draining pasta add the diced pepper and peas to the pot and let cook for 1 minute. Save 1 cup of the salted pasta water and then drain the rest.  Return pasta and peas to pot.  Stir in yogurt sauce.  Add the saved pasta water slowly mixing until you get the desired consistency for the sauce.  Serve immediately, topped with green onions and Parmesan. Serves 4

CHICKEN AND CHICKPEA CURRY

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/4 lb. package ground chicken or turkey
1 large onion, chopped in medium dice
2 tablespoons sweet curry powder
1 can petite dice tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
1 can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans, 15.5 oz. can)
12 oz. Greek yogurt
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley for garnish, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add ground chicken or turkey, breaking it apart with the turner and sauteing until it is well cooked and lightly browned about 8 to 10 minutes.

Push the chicken or turkey to one side of the pan, add the 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add the chopped onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until onions are just starting to get some color. Sprinkle onions with the curry powder and cook about 2 minutes more, turning a few times, then stir the onion mixture into the chicken. Add the tomatoes with juice and drained chickpeas and let simmer about 5 minutes, or until some liquid has evaporated and flavors are well blended. Turn heat to low, stir in yogurt, and simmer about 3 minutes more. (Don’t let it come to a boil after the yogurt has been added.)

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro if desired. Serves 4.

Modified from Chicken Chickpea Curry Bowls by Rachel Ray