4th Of July – Slider Fireworks Galore!
Behold the slider – a THING OF BEAUTY – SO MUCH FLAVOR IS SUCH A SMALL BUN!
Everyone loves the 4th of July! Celebrating our independence from bangers and mash is one reason – grilling sliders is another. Look at how good this is, a perfectly composed slider getting a big assist from my best friend, BACON:
This post is going to celebrate burgers of all shapes and sizes, and share some great recipes for your grilling pleasure!
WHAT THE PACHISLO???!!???
I love this picture. My daughter Jessica poses in front of an ad for the “Green Peas Pachislo Burger” when we were in Tokyo…we don’t know what it was, but in hindsight we should have walked in and ordered one, just to get a picture of it!
A cheeseburger, when done right, is a thing of beauty. This 4th of July, it’s time for all Artists to rise up and create a masterpiece or two!
SLIDERS, SLIDERS, SLIDERS!
I love sliders because they aren’t that big – a couple of bites, like my White Castle breakfast slider shown above, and you are done…you are more in control of how much you eat – especially since these sliders use a lot of different toppings, which allows you to make the meat patty smaller – look at that – HEALTH FOOD!
The key to a GREAT international slider is what you do with a region’s culinary uniqueness in order to flavor the standard hamburger patty. The more unique an area is, the less meat you need on the slider itself, as the spices, herbs and seasonings will take over!
Your basic hamburger uses good quality ground beef with at least 15% fat content, to ensure lots of juicy flavor. I put minced onion in as well, and sometimes when I am feeling adventurous I use minced garlic. Other than that, I like to use a fun salt – like pink hawaiian sea salt, and a fair amount of pepper. That’s it for me – upon this temple of meat flavor, these international sliders add unique ingredients that give them a special flavor and personality…have fun!
Spanish Sliders – Hamburguesa!
Spanish flavors take this to a whole new level – here are your ingredients:
This is an easy one: just rub olive tapanade on top of the cooked slider…you can find recipes for making it, or you can buy it in a jar, but it includes black olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice – cook the burger first with Manchego cheese (a sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region in Spain) and Jamón Iberico, (Iberico ham – prosciutto-like ham that comes from Spanish black pigs). Take a bite and you will wake up in Barcelona…
Lots of Indian spices make this stand out. Here is a recipe that lays out the unique flavors to add to your slider:
3 lbs ground beef
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh ginger , peeled and minced
1/4 cup minced scallion top
1/2 cup firmly packed chopped cilantro leaf , soft stems included
Mix all of these into your burger, cook and enjoy the flavor of Mumbai!
The Nut Burger!
The Nut Burger was made famous at Matt’s Place Drive-In in Butte, Montana. Matt’s Place Drive-In was established in 1930. The terrific website “A Hamburger Today”, tracked it down and their results are shown here. George Motz, who told them about it, took a photo for the website and here it is:
Here is what Motz said about the Nutburger: “like eating sundae topping on a burger. It’s coarsely ground peanuts mixed with mayo, topping a burger. It’s great!”
“No Meat” Nut Burgers!
If you don’t want a hamburger topped with nuts, make a vegetarian version with only nuts! Here you go:
1 medium onion
1 cup walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews or other nuts, preferably raw
1 cup (raw) rolled oats or cooked short-grain white or brown rice
2 tablespoons ketchup, miso, tomato paste, nut butter or tahini
1 teaspoon chili powder or any spice mix you like
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons peanut oil, extra virgin olive oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn.
1. Grind onion in food processor. Add nuts and oats, and pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Process briefly; don’t grind too finely. Add a little liquid — water, stock, soy sauce, wine, whatever — if necessary; mixture should be moist but not loose.
2. Let mixture rest a few minutes, then shape it into 4 burgers. (Burger mixture or shaped burgers can be covered tightly and refrigerated for up to a day. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.) Put oil in nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet and turn to medium. When oil is hot, add burgers to skillet. Cook about 5 minutes, undisturbed, until browned, then turn with spatula. Lower heat a bit and cook 3 or 4 minutes more, until firm.
Korean Barbecue Sliders
When I was in Seoul, we ate every night at a korean BBQ, where you grill your own meat and seafood on the round grill embedded in your table, then wrap the grilled food around lettuce or thinly sliced pickled vegetables. The centerpiece, of course, is traditional fermented cabbage: Kimchi!
Taking that as an inspiration, Korean sliders are best when you add pickled cucumbers, a splash of rice vinegar and kimchi to a regular burger, like so:
I would add the crisp garlic pickles and a hint of kimchi to my burger, and it’s as if I’m back in Seoul!
The All-American Bacon-Cheeseburger Slider!
What can you say? Build it this way and you are golden:
Cheese – melted and dripping
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Mayonaise, mayonaise, mayonaise!
See that? DO NOT DEVIATE – this is perfection.
The Japanese Wasabi-Avocado Slider!
I read about this over the holidays and I made one…it was delicious! It is very simple: a slider patty topped with sliced avocado, and a heavy dose of wasabi mayonaise. Trader Joe’s sells it, or buy some great mayo and wasabi and mix it together to the strength you can handle…this is delicious with a Sapporo!
The Sriracha Burger!
This is a GREAT idea…the recipe is from the terrific “Serious Eats” website!
3 pounds ground beef (preferably chuck, 80/20)
1/4 cup soy sauce
10 tablespoons Sriracha
4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2 large sweet onions
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
8 sesame seed buns
8 thick slices Swiss cheese
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
Arugula or romaine lettuce
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce, 5 tablespoons of the Sriracha, and the pepper. Do not overmix. Form the mixture into 8 patties, and set aside.
In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, turning as necessary. While the bacon is cooking, peel and quarter the onions. Cut each section into 1/4-inch slices. Once the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy, remove the slices from the pan, cut each in half crosswise, and drain onto paper towels, reserving the remaining bacon fat in the pan. Cook the sliced onions in the bacon fat over medium-low heat until they caramelize, 20 to 25 minutes.
Grill the burgers, turning once, 4 to 4-1/2 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 130° to 135°F for medium-rare.
While the burgers are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the blue cheese dressing with the remaining 5 tablespoons Sriracha. Lightly toast the buns on the grill during the last minute of cooking time.
To assemble, spread the blue cheese mixture on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty, Swiss cheese slice, bacon, caramelized onions, tomato slice, and a small handful of arugula between each hamburger bun.
I uncovered these two years ago in Melbourne. They add a slice of beetroot – OK, we call it beet, they call it beetroot – add a slice underneath the burger. It adds a great, slightly sweet and nutty flavor to the taste. Look at how beautiful that big chunk looks on the burger above…Everything else is the same – add cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce if you like – and if you want to go totally Aussie, add a fried egg on top….the best!
Ok, now back to just a little bit of crazy to finish this off…
The Scottish Deep-Fried Cheeseburger!!
Thanks to FXcuisine.com, there is a great writeup with pictures of the entire process of making a Scottish deep-fried cheeseburger – including the revelation that the burgers are cooked in the same deep fat fryer that cooks fries AND FISH!
FXcuisine is François-Xavier (FX), a French-speaking Swiss native living on the shores of Lake Geneva. He is passionate about gastronomy and cooking and created his website to share my adventures with Internet users the world over.
Go to his site to get more detail on how this burger is made, but a brief overview: take frozen hamburger that has been infused with cheese. Batter it, deep fry it, eat it. Done and done. Here it is again:
THE CHEESEBURGER SUB!
If you want to get experimental, here are a couple of unique options for you this 4th of July!
From The White House Sub shop in Atlantic City, I got this delicious cheeseburger sub – it’s a cheeseburger on a sub sandwich roll…easy to do and a fun change of pace!
Behold The French Fry Burger!
And of course, my favorite burger of all is this: add french fries to the top of the meat, then a bit of tartar sauce and topped with cheddar cheese – a burger and fries all in one!
No matter which recipe you try, spend this fourth of July doing what all Americans should be doing: eating meat and waiting for the fireworks! Happy 4th!