Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Memorial Day Feast

So, some you might have noticed I was absent for my usual book review post on Thursday.  That's because my kid brother graduated from High School.  Woot! Regularly scheduled programming will now resume.

I thought I'd do something that would fit in with tomorrow's holiday, so I came up with this recipe for Memorial Day Sliders.  I've made hamburgers aplenty, but I'd never done sliders (a term my mom insists sounds kinda gross; no comments from the peanut gallery).  I was using King's Hawaiian rolls, so I wanted something with a hint of sweet tang to go with them.  This is what I came up with, and they were delicious.  This recipe makes 8 sliders, and can easily be multiplied to serve a larger number.

What You'll Need
Large mixing bowl                                                            Knife for slicing
Large skillet                                                                      Paper towels
Spatula                                                                              2 plates
Cutting Board
1 lb lean hamburger meat                                                 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs*
1 large egg, cold                                                                Olive oil
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce                                                         King's Hawaiian rolls
5 shakes Worcestershire sauce                                        Toppings of choice

Now Let's Make Memorial Day Sliders!
Click for a tasty slideshow!
Place your hamburger meat in the large mixing bowl.  Crack 1 large egg and add it to the bowl, avoiding any shell (I find that this helps the meat stick together better if the egg is still cold rather than room temperature).  Measure and add 2 Tbsp of Hoisin sauce.  If you don't have/ can't find Hoisin sauce you can also use a sweet Teriyaki sauce like La Choy; the key is to use something tangy with a slight sweetness to it. Then add five shakes of Worcestershire sauce.

Measure out 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and set to the side. Now comes the gross the part (also prepare yourself for some painfully cold hands).  Get your hands in there and start squishing everything together until it's thoroughly mixed. There's just no other way to do this; a spoon doesn't cut it (though I suppose you could use gloves if it really bothered you). Once everything is mixed together, add the 1/4 cup bread crumbs and immediately place that measuring cup in the sink (since you just got your meaty hands all over it).  Mix the bread crumbs in by hand, also.

Divide the meat into about 8 even sized piles (I was going to say chunks, but that sounds a little gross, yes?).  Take one pile and squeeze it together to make sure that it will stick. Using both hands, roll the meat into a ball, then flatten it between your palms.  The slider should be a size that fits within the palm of your hand and should look a little bigger than you actually want it to be, since it will shrink while cooking. Place the patty on one of your two plates and repeat this step for the rest of the meat.

Wash your hands (you made need someone to turn on water and squirt you with soap to avoid getting meat everywhere. Safety first!). Pour enough olive oil into your pan to easily cover the base of the skillet.  If you have a grill, you can skip this and the next step and grill that tasty, tasty meat, but you're on your own (having never yet owned one, grilling is not my forte).  Heat the oil at medium heat, about 5 or 6. 

Once the oil is hot enough, add all eight of your sliders to the pan. If your pan's not big enough to do all eight, I recommend cooking them in batches of four.  Spread them around the pan evenly to start with, since you don't want the sides of the burgers to try and stick together. However, once the burgers have started to cook and sizzle for a bit, you'll want to move them all as close to the center of the pan as possible to allow them to cook evenly.

While your burgers are cooking, start prepping your topping choices.  Me? I like onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese.  Sadly, the tomatoes at the supermarket looked downright mealy, so I had to pass on them this go round. Le sigh.  Keep the size of your sliders in mind for your toppings, I chose a smaller sized onion and sliced it very thinly to achieve a perfect fit for my sliders, and the same thing goes for any other topping.  At a loss? Here are some suggestions: onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, mushrooms, bacon, pickles, red onion, avocado, basil leaves, toasted garlic, red peppers, jalapenos, relish, salsa, etc. And don't forget our old friends: ketchup, mayo, and mustard!

At some point when you're prepping all your delicious toppings, the burgers should be ready to flip.  The side that was facing down should be dark brown all over with some darker, more cooked spots.  Flip all the burgers and allow the other side to reach the same level of doneness. Naturally, you'll want to watch your burgers to achieve the level of doneness that you prefer. I like mine medium well, so that's what you should get if you follow my instructions precisely. If you like yours a little more or a little less done, you'll have to play with cooking time to adjust.

Take your other plate (the clean one that you did not have raw meat on), and place two layers of paper towels on it. Remove the burgers when they are done and place them in one layer on the plate.  Take some more paper towels, and pat the burgers to remove the excess grease.  I don't really like any extra grease, but I suppose you could skip this step. However, I find that due to the size of sliders, they can't handle the extra grease as easily a larger burger.

Serve the sliders on King's Hawaiian rolls with the toppings and sides of your choice. Chow down, enjoy, and send kind thoughts to those who can't be home having fun grill-fests this Memorial Day. (Miss you Michelle!)

I've been cat-sitting for a friend who's in Air Force Basic Training. Everybody, meet Sebastian's new friend Kat:

Forget polite questions.
GIVE me your cheeseburger, hooman!



  1. Hello Kitty. The sliders sound/look delicious.

    1. Wow, for some reason blogger only just showed me this comment. They were very tasty, and kitty says "hey".


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