Monday, March 9, 2009

Slide into SLIDERS

Way back in time, when princes and princesses ruled the earth, there arose a manor dubbed White Castle. In order to feed the courtiers, feudal lords and other minion, the manor’s cooks created a burger that was designed to please lord and lady, young and old, rich and poor.

Actually it was 1921 when a cook and an entrepreneur teamed up to build a sparkling facility in the likeness of a castle. It had stainless steel interiors and cooks in white paper hats. If you build it they will come, or so goes the story of The White Castle burger chain, where millions of delectable little burgers are still served today. Nostalgia is part of the taste: “Sack of six with both, anyone?”

In case you don’t already know, the White Castle specialty was a mini hamburger called the SLYDER. Served in plain white wrappers, from plain white grease absorbing paper bags, these burgers were square shaped, ground from mystery meat, and dribbled with chopped white onion, ketchup and a slice of dill pickle. They were served on a soft roll that mushed together when you grabbed for it. You could order your SLYDER your way – with or without cheese, single or double patty; but no matter how hard you tried, one whole, two-inch mini burger disappeared in just two bites - three if you were a girl on a first date. The White Castle Slyder was late night sustenance to millions upon millions of teens, who would one day become the “Baby Boomer Generation.” Those retro days were simpler days, and oh how we miss them…we find ourselves craving comfort food, and that’s why we’re seeing reinventions of the SLYDER just about everywhere we look.

You need not look further; my Really Good Turkey Burger Sliders feature some lip-smackin’ updates. First the rolls are soft, potato dinner rolls. You can find them in a package of twelve on the bread aisle in your grocery store. I know that encouraging you to purchase these rolls breaks every one of my non-processed, non-packaged food rules, but this is a Slider we’re talking about! I’m happy to give instructions for making potato rolls from scratch, but that’d make you want to quit and these burgers are just too good to quit on!
To take this slider out of “the white paper bag”, I make it with ground turkey, both the white and dark parts. Next, instead of diced raw onion, this Slider is topped with crispy fried shallots. These are created by thinly slicing the shallot and then “boiling” it in hot oil. Once the shallot turns golden, you remove the slices with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels. The onions crisp up as they cool to room temperature.
You can buy a White Castle Slyder with cheese, but you can’t buy one with home made pimento cheese. My yummy cheese topping is made with aged English cheddar and a spoonful of fresh horseradish, along with pimentos and a bit of mayo.

And finally, we will keep the dill pickle chip (it’s just not a Slider without a pickle) but, we’ll add thin slices of fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes. It’s ketchup in its most natural state!!
You can pre-make all of the components for this dish and assemble the Sliders when your family gets to the table. They are best served with seasoned, home made steak fries and a garden slaw. The result is a nostalgic meal that just might soothe your hungry, stressed-out, lads and lassies, until “Happy Days” are here again!

1 comment:

Sher said...

Hi Jorj,
I will try the sliders. Thanks for the trip dowm memory lane - White Castle - I can smell them now! Sher

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