Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goat Cheese and Apple Sliders

Oh sweet deliciousness. Sliders are the perfect meal because they fill you up while still being portion-conscious. You're not going to do yourself any benefit by eating a dozen of these, but taking nearly a pound of ground beef and splitting them into nine patties and having say, three sliders as a meal is perfectly reasonable.

Tonight I was craving mac and cheese. The hubs thought we should try gourmet grilled cheese since we just scored a very sweet deal on a very old cast-iron skillet at an estate sale this weekend. That's right: it's got forty years of flavor already cooked in! Mmm... vintage deliciousness...

While browsing the bakery section of Whole Foods, we were inspired to create sliders when we saw these adorably tasty brioche buns. I'd used them before to make Italian Sliders: ground beef sliders topped with hearty tomato sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella, the toasted buns drizzled with olive oil. I know, I know- wipe the drool from the corner of your mouth.

These sliders were much different and very refreshing on a nice summer's night. We even felt so inspired we ate outside. This is a quick and easy summer meal or a nice appetizer if you serve them open face for a casual summer dinner with friends. Try it out!

Goat Cheese and Apple Sliders

You will need:
~1lb of lean ground beef*
6 brioche buns, sliced, about 3-4" in diameter
2 oz of fresh goat cheese (rindless)
1 granny smith apple
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
    To make:
    1. Preheat your oven to 300°.
    2. Season the ground beef with a little bit of salt and pepper and the Worcestershire sauce. Form into small 4" diameter patties. One pound of ground beef should yield 9-10 patties. *Have you ever made your own ground beef? It's easy! Take your favorite cut of beef, like a good top sirloin, and throw it in the food processor. Voila! High quality ground beef at home.
    3. Pat dry the patties before placing them on a hot skillet. (If you're using non-stick cookware, do not add oil to the pan to cook them.) Let sear for 1 minute, then flip. Don't touch them before that minute is up! Sear other side for an additional minute. Reduce heat and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, depending on desired doneness. 
    4. When all patties are cooked, toss in the oven to keep warm.
    5. Deglaze your pan.
    6. Heat it back up on medium-high heat.
    7. Add the butter. When it browns, add your brioche buns, sliced side down. Grill for a minute or so. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
    8. Using a butter knife, spread a bit of the goat cheese onto the bottom half of each bun.
    9. Slice up your apple into thin pieces. I used about a quarter of the apple and added the rest to a salad I made to go with dinner.
    10. To assemble: add the patty and top with a slice of apple.
    11. Enjoy your tiny bite-sized awesomeness. Pairs well with equally minuscule sides like cornichons or sweet baby gherkins. Makes 9-10 sliders.


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