Honoring Those Who Have Sacrificed For Our Freedom…
I always lead this story with a reiteration of what Memorial Day means in America: it’s a day to honor those men and women who sacrificed their lives serving in the military to protect our freedoms…it is a day to remember and honor them…
Memorial Day weekend has also become a time to gather friends and family – and create a feast of celebration – in my case, with sliders!
Calling All Burger Lovers!
With the holiday weekend approaching, I wanted to once again share some of my favorite recipes with you – so you can impress your friends and family with some delicious flavors…it’s time to start planning your upcoming holiday weekend menu – for SLIDERS!
I love sliders for one reason: as a smaller version of a burger, you can mix-and-match lots of flavors and try them all without stuffing yourself.
My friend Robbie asked a great question: “why is it called a slider?”
Here’s your answer!
The name originated in the 1940s, when sailors in the U.S. Navy would refer to mini-burgers as “sliders” because of their extreme greasiness. In just one or two bites, the burger would just slide right down!
Look at how good this is, a perfectly composed slider getting a big assist from my best friend, BACON:
Here are some of my favorite slider recipes – some with an international flair!
A Worldwide Slider Celebration!
The key to an international slider is what flavors the hamburger patty. Your basic hamburger uses good quality ground beef with at least 15% fat content, to ensure lots of juicy flavor. I mix in raw minced onion and minced garlic, with salt, pepper as well.
That’s it for me – upon this temple of meat flavor, I add unique ingredients that give my sliders an international flavor…here are some of my favorite recipes!
Spanish Sliders – Hamburguesa!
Let’s get started with Spain, since I jhad a blast visiting from Barcelona…this is a great example of taking a regular burger and giving it an international feel…using some of the special spanish flavors to give the burger a catalonian flavor!
Begin by cooking 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). Then, top the burger with olive tapenade…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. Take a bite and you will wake up in Barcelona…
Korean Kimchi 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. Taking that as an inspiration, Korean sliders are best when you add pickled cucumbers, a splash of rice vinegar and kimchi.
Let’s’ continue our trip around the world this way:
Japanese Wasabi-Avocado Sliders!
I read about this once and had to make it…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! One last look….trust me, MAKE THIS ONE!
And here’s another great flavor:
The Sriracha Burger!
If Wasabi is not powerful enough for you – THIS will do the trick!
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.
Now, time to make some beautiful music:
Cook the bacon. Listen to that crackling sizzle of goodness!
While the bacon is cooking, peel and quarter the onions. Once the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy, remove the slices from the pan, 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. 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.
Now, if you are just in the mood for a burger that will drive you NUTS…or perhaps you don’t want meat in your burger at all, well here’s the answer!
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.
And, in honor of vegetarians who have chosen to read this post, there is a great “no meat” burger waiting for you!
“No Meat” Nut Burgers!
Here’s a fun way to have a slider without using meat – first, here are the ingredients you will need:
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.
This is good enough to satisfy meat eaters, too!
Now, here is a unique burger from down under you must try as well!
I uncovered these a few years ago in Melbourne. They add a slice of beetroot underneath the burger. It adds a great, slightly nutty flavor to the slider. 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!
Now, time to give you the all-American burger that you must make as well:
The All-American Slider!
While you can stack this slider a number of different ways, an “all-American slider” always uses some traditional flavors:
I try to really stack my burger with all of those great flavors – here’s one way to build it:
Cheddar Cheese – melted and dripping
Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Tomato and sliced onion
Mayonaise, mayonaise, mayonaise!
See that? DO NOT DEVIATE – this is perfection.
However, if you want to deviate, then do what I think is my all-time favorite burger:
WITH FRENCH FRIES!
WHAT THE – ???!!???
Trust me on this – a great flavor that I love the look of as well…make your normal slider but before you add the cheese to melt, lay some French fries on top of the patty and then let the cheese melt over them!
And if you want to try something different, why not an “Oopsie?”
This traditional burger has a unique “oopsie” bun – click here to find out how to make one!
If you want to try another unique cooking method, follow the lead of White Manna restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey:
This unique way to cook the patties on top of shaved onions resulted in an amazing taste…click here for the entire recipe:
Don’t Be Intimidated!
I made these at home and they turned out really well! Remember, cooking is supposed to be fun – but if all else fails:
White Castle To The Rescue!
When in doubt, grab a dozen frozen White Castle sliders from your local grocery store and dress them up with some of the above flavors – or make them for breakfast!
The “White Castle” Breakfast Slider!
You can begin your slider-fest first thing in the morning – just click here for an easy and delicious breakfast slider!
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Categories: Bacon, Bite Eat Swallow, Bite! Eat! Repeat!, Burgers, Cheeseburgers, Cookbooks, Eat This!, Fast Food, Food, Food Pictures, Food Porn, Recipes, Sliders, Wacky Food, World's Wildest Food
A great selection of burgers for burgers lovers, John…I prefer sliders the smaller option and the Korean Kimchi Barbecue Sliders sound good to me 🙂
Yes Carol, the international flavors are fun – the Japanese was avocado is terrific as well!
your slider variations sound delish and make me hungry. I love sliders because I love the meat to bun ration, not too much meat, not too much bun. and, the variations!
That’s exactly it Beth!
That’s a hearfelt tribute to the burger, John. I hope you enjoy your Memorial weekend.
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanks for a summer’s worth of burger ideas.
I love sliders because you can have a couple of bites and then try a different flavor profile….not monstrously big like so many burgers today! Thanks for reading and commenting, much appreciated!