• Super Bowl Snacks: Slider Burgers

    Slider Burgers.

    Slider Burgers.

    slider2We started blogging about a year ago (more on that later this week), and one of our first posts was a recipe for Super Bowl Sliders. Since then, we tweaked the recipe a bit and figured since we are doing a “Super Bowl Snacks” series, we may as well post an update. But here is all you need to know; sliders are fun, perfect for entertaining kids and adults and taste great. And if you use our version of “Shake Shack” sauce, your sliders, or burgers, will be even better.

    slider10slider7This sauce is our version of the special sauce from New York City’s favorite burger joint, the Shake Shack. Serious Eats reversed-engineered the sauce a few years ago (see here) and we tweaked it ever-so-slightly to go with our sliders. The key to the sauce, which is in the “1,000-island family” of sauces, is chopping up and blending dill or sour pickles (we use cornichons sometimes) directly into the sauce. The extra acidity and bite of the pickles along with mayo, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder, salt and paprika takes this sauce over the top. We use smoked paprika to add a touch of smokey flavor that does come through. In any event, make the sauce, trust us…

    slider9slider8Otherwise, making sliders is just like making burgers, just smaller and faster. We make our sliders about 2 ounces (or a touch less) and make sure they are about 1/4 of an inch thick. We cook them in a very hot skillet or cast-iron pan for 2 minutes on one side, flip, add some cheese (just a little) and cook another minute for medium rare / medium. We set the sliders on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, this keeps the juices in the burger.

    slider6slider5slider4As for the bread, we use buttered and grilled dinner rolls like King Hawaiian (yes we love those rolls) or Parker House rolls. Taking the time to brown and heat the rolls is a nice touch and adds some buttery flavor to the mix. Then we just put the sliders on the rolls and top with the sauce. Simple, easy, and oh so tasty. And the small size means everyone can enjoy the sliders either as a snack or full meal. Just be ready to make another batch. Continue reading

  • Super Bowl Snacks: Guacamole Revisited

    Putney Farm Guacamole and a cold beer.

    Putney Farm Guacamole and a cold beer.

    Well, the Niners did make it to the Super Bowl, so our series of snacks for the big game will have a more positive note (and perhaps some hints of red and gold). And we will have to come up with a cocktail to celebrate the event….but for now, let’s look at that big game staple, guacamole. According to some very precursory internet research, Americans eat over 8 million pounds of guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday. But what that too often means is millions of pounds of avocados get mixed with something like salsa and mashed up. Other than the color, evidence of avocado is often masked by copious garlic, citrus, tomato and pepper flavors. Good, but really “avocado salsa”.

    guac2guac3There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this type of guacamole, and if you have a recipe you like, please use it. And if the avocados aren’t at their best, adding more flavors will certainly help. But what if you have really good, ripe Hass (you really want Hass) avocados? We suggest you cut one open and taste it. Maybe add just a dash of salt. Doesn’t it taste great? Sweet, clean and creamy with some earthy notes? Beautiful color? Yes? Then maybe you can try a version of guacamole that is all about the avocados.

    guac4guac7guac8And we do have a basic recipe that really works when avocados are at their best. Three avocados, one minced shallot, the juice of half a lime, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper and a scant teaspoon of hot sauce. Dice the avocados with a butter knife in their skins (see the photos). Add the diced avocado to the other ingredients and fold them together, so some of the avocado chunks mash, while some keep their shape. Taste, tune (just a bit) and refrigerate for at least three hours. The taste again, the flavors will have melded and mellowed. Season with more salt, lime and/or hot sauce one last time, and then serve.

    guac9guac10guac12 Continue reading