January 20, 2010

White Castle-Style Sliders

Once again, my pregnancy has given me a hankerin' for something specific...sliders. While I find the frozen White Castle sliders are okay in a pinch, I could not justify making a meal out of them for dinner. The box of processed, convenience burgers are really not that healthy or cost effective. (Ingredient lists with items that I can't pronounce freak me out, so I try and steer clear of packaged foods as much as reasonably possible.) I decided to skip the box and make some sliders on my own. I did a little bit of Internet searching, and found this recipe on a fellow food blog. I have to make a couple substitutions for what I have on hand, but my version should be fairly close. This is another recipe that looks cheap, easy, and yummy...right up my alley! I don't know how they will actually compare to real White Castle sliders, but they look great nonetheless. I think I will serve our lil' burgers with a side salad and call it a meal. I have been looking forward to this dinner all week!

White Castle-Style Sliders
Amended recipe from: Mommy's Kitchen
(Original recipe from: Big Red Kitchen)

1/2 cup dried onion flakes
2 pounds ground beef (use at least 80/20 ground beef; I actually have 73/27)
1/2 teaspoon of Lawry's seasoned salt
6 slices of American cheese
12 small dinner rolls
Dill pickle relish to taste

Evenly spread the onions on the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Gently press the ground beef on top of the onion flakes. Press evenly making one giant pattie. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Using a paper towel, pat the excess grease from the top of the pattie. Top with cheese slices, return to oven for 2 more minutes. Remove from oven, let set 5 minutes then cut into patties. Slice open and separate each dinner roll. Place bottom of rolls on a large platter. Using a spatula lift pattie with onion layer onto each bun bottom. Top each slider with some pickle relish on the bun lid and serve immediately.

The Result:
These were amazing! So simple and magically tasty!!! My almost-4-year-old proclaimed, "this dinner is YUMMY". A ringing endorsement if I have ever heard one. This meal was not complicated or fancy; but oh man, it sure hit the spot with all of us!
I would definitely stick to the original suggestion of 80/20 beef. The 73/27 was a little too fatty, and the meat actually shrunk in the pan quite a bit. I had to drain a lot of fat off of the meat to get it to where it needed to be. (***I would not go any leaner than 80/20...the fat is needed to rehydrate the dried onions.***) Even so, these little burgers were perfect. I didn't do pickle slices because I didn't have any on hand. Instead, a smear of Dill pickle relish was a great compromise. Also, I think I liked the relish better than I would have liked the slices anyway. Per bite, I got a balanced ratio of pickly-goodness to bun and burger. I still don't know if these are close to the original White Castle burgers, but I don't know if it really matters. These were so good on their own. This was exactly what I had in mind for sliders, and this easy recipe fulfilled my wish!

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