sliding home…

The very first time I ever tried sliders was in New York City. It was at White Castle where my fondness for the “slyders” (as they call it) was born.

Growing up in California, there were no place that I knew that sold these mini-burgers. I’ve heard about them from East Coast transplants and cousins who regarded these treats in the highest esteem.

I joined the Army during my junior year of high school. The recruiter knocked on our front door and painted a promising picture of adventure, excitement, and even a college fund. Next thing I knew, I was spending my summer in muggy South Carolina.

Some guys in my platoon talked about White Castle and how it’s better than any burger joint around. Listening to them convinced me that I needed to try one before I got too old. Which, back then, was 30.

The following summer I was stationed in New Jersey for training and finally got my chance. We were given a weekend pass and a bunch of us took a bus to NYC. The very first thing we did was head to White Castle.

Although I enjoyed them then and have enjoyed them since, I wouldn’t claim it’s the best ever. It’s good and tasty…

Today, sliders have become quite popular and I must admit, I love them. They may be tiny but they pack a tasty punch. You can find them at greasy, burger joints to fancy eateries. Expect to pay anywhere from a buck a piece to a whopping $50.00. Made with Wagyu (Kobe beef) and topped with caviar and quail egg, this fancy slider is extravagant in every possible way.

I like making them at home because, well, mine’s better. Normally I don’t eat a lot of red meat and burgers have become a rarity. On occasion, I do get a craving for some and I willfully give in.

The nice thing about sliders is their size. I can satisfy my taste buds and belly without taking in a lot of calories and fat. Plus, they’re fun to eat!

Tonight I made some and they’re the downsized versions of my favorite burgers. Except for the buns, I make everything from scratch.

I prefer grinding my beef instead of buying those already ground and prepacked. This way, I get to control what kind goes in and I know exactly what I’m getting. To get the juiciest burgers, I like mixing a fatty cut of beef like chuck with  a leaner cut such as sirloin. I have the butcher coarse-grind them and I am set.

From left to right…

Slider #1: topped with roasted Anaheim pepper, fresh guacamole, pepper Jack cheese, and chipotle mayo.

Slider #2: alder-smoked bacon, bleu cheese, caramelized onions, and barbecue sauce.

Slide #3: sauteéd mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, and honey-Dijon sauce.

For my side, I made my own potato chips using Yukon Gold, yams, and sweet potatoes:

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