Size matters. There are times a burger can be too big, making you feel like someone parked a ’63 Fleetwood in your belly. Lunch, late night snack or served as appetizers, these mini-burgers can fill the bill without overfilling your gullet. And they’re darned tasty, too!
The mini-hamburger phenomena started in the early 1920’s at a little Wichita, Kansas restaurant called White Castle. The slang term, “slider,” reportedly came from the US Navy during the 1940’s or ’50’s. Many believe this refers to a burger greasy to the point that it would slide right down your throat. Others have surmised this might refer to the opposite end of the digestive tract. Whichever end it might be, the term became synonymous with White Castle’s fare. Recently it has become the popular term for any mini-burger. “Sliders” are showing up on menus all across this continent, from shiny diners to fine dining. They are becoming as popular and well known as Miley’s tongue.
These are a little on the fancy-schmancy side, but not too difficult to prepare. There are no ingredients that are hard-to-identify/purchase. If you prefer a more traditional slider, the cooking technique listed will work great.
½ cup real Mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
1 teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning mixture (even parts Kosher Salt, Celery Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika and Dried Oregano)
¼ teaspoon of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Mixed this together several hours before serving.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 large Yellow Onion, sliced into thin rings
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 teaspoon Light Brown Sugar
In a skillet on medium low heat, slowly browned the onions and garlic in the oil, stirring often – about 25 minutes. Added the Sugar and stirred constantly until sugar was melted into the onion mixture. Removed from heat and set aside.
1½ lbs Ground Chuck. (I like the 80/20 lean to fat. Great taste and holds together well on the grill grate.)
½ lb. Andouille Sausage, diced into ¼” cubes
Salt and Pepper
Crumbled Bleu Cheese
Mini-Burger Buns (I used mini potato rolls from the local grocer)
Mixed ground beef and sausage cubes. Divided into 2 oz. portions, made nice thin patties. Knew they would draw up a little, so made the patty slightly wider than the bun. Dusted both sides of patties with salt and pepper. Prepared the egg for direct cooking, 375°F. Four minutes, flipped, added the blue cheese and closed the lid for the final four minutes.
Spread the caramelized onions on the bottom bun, then placed the burger on the onions. Dressed the top bun with the Cajun Mayo then added a couple leaves of crisp lettuce. Top half meets bottom, sandwich meets taste buds. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
Served these with kettle chips and beer. Could have added a side of slaw as well. I am dreaming of several variations on this theme: Basil-Pizza Sauce-Mozzarella, Smoky-Bacon-Barbecue, and Good-Ol’-American-Cheeseburger, maybe. Quick and easy, sliders will be on the menu often this summer.