Have it your way: Stuffed Sliders

Suppose your inner Martha is considering hosting a cookout this coming weekend.  You’re feeling pretty good; your patio pots are planted colorfully and the lawn is greening up.  The guest list is coming together in your head and it’s growing by the minute because you’re a sweetheart of a gal and it pains you deeply to leave anyone out.  The forecast looks amazing.  A perfect party playlist is synced up in your head, it just needs to make its way to your portable electronic device.  But even though you are channeling Martha, the menu has you stumped. 

Steaks?  Sure, if you really were Martha and your magic money tree was in full bloom.  Chicken?  That can be tricky on the grill, as referenced by me in last week’s post.  Fish?  Personally, although I love it, it doesn’t exactly scream “Memorial Day Cookout.”

Sliders.

You’re serving sliders.  Why?  Because a) who on God’s green earth doesn’t like adorable little cheeseburgers and b) ground chuck is on sale for $1.99 a pound this week.  That’s ONE DOLLAR AND NINETY NINE CENTS.  Pfffft, this is a no brainer.

These inside out cheeseburgers are stuffed with bits of whatever awesome cheese you like.  I had both a chunk of Sendik’s 2-year White Cheddar and a box of crumbled blue on hand.  Both were excellent – especially the ones with blue cheese; we topped them with carmelized onions and I almost died from pure happiness right at the dinner table.

Now, just a note about the buns.  When No Thank You Boy asked me his daily (say this in a grumpy teenage tone) “what’s for dinner?” yesterday afternoon, I told him we were having sliders.  He grumbled back, “but when you make sliders, the buns are always too big for the burger and that’s lame.”

Well now.  Because the motion of my universe is based solely on the force of NTYB and his opinions (cough), I set out to find a way to remedy this bread:beef issue (and to be truthful, I had to agree; dinner rolls really are too big).  So I picked up a package of hot dog buns and cut each one into thirds.  Worked like a charm, and no complaints from NTYB or anyone else.  Try it yourself.  : )

Mix and match any combination of cheeses and toppings; you can’t mess it up, you can’t go wrong.  Your inner Martha will be proud you hosted such a fabulous and frugal backyard fete!

STUFFED SLIDERS
Makes about 30 (2 inch) sliders
SOURCE:  epicurious.com; recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

3 lbs. ground beef (Sendik’s Natural Ground Chuck is on sale in Value Packs from 5/23/11 to 5/29/11)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 c. good quality grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, pressed
6 oz. Cheddar, Blue, Gouda (Rembrandt Gouda is on sale this week), Pepper Jack, or whatever cheese you’re partial to, chilled and cut into 1/2″ cubes

30 (2 inch) soft rolls, such as potato or brioche, or retro fitted hot dog buns (Sendik’s Hot Dog Buns are on sale this week, 5/23/11 to 5/29/11)

Toppings:  lettuce, sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, pickles, sliced raw onion and/or sauteed golden brown onions (see note), ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.

Gently combine meat, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper with your hands; do not overmix.

Form scant 1/4 cupfuls of meat mixture into about 30 meatballs.  Push a cheese cube into the center of each ball and encase meat around cheese, then slightly flatten each ball to a 2-inch diameter.

Preheat all burners of a gas grill on high, covered, for ten minutes, then adjust heat to medium high.  Grill sliders, in batches if necessary, turning once, until just cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes total.  Transfer to a platter; have diners build their own perfect burgers.

GOLDEN BROWN ONIONS:  Saute 1 to 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced yellow onions in 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat with some chopped fresh thyme and salt, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Swoon!  : )

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | May 22nd, 2012