Sliders

Who doesn’t like little hamburgers? Well I am sure there are a couple of people out there but we will not talk about them. Whether it be Krystal or White Castle or somewhere else they all have something in common. They are yummy little bites of joy. Since the only Krystal left in town closed and I did not want to go to a sit down restaurant to get these little burgers I decided to make them myself. They are a bit of work to make and take some time to get them all prepped and ready to eat, but in the end they are well worth it and fun if you are having guests over.

So this is how I did it.

Ingredients

2lbs lean ground beef

2 packs Kings Hawaiian Rolls (butter flavored) cut in half like little buns.

1 medium white onion (diced into small pieces)

a jar of hamburger pickle slices

1/4 stick of butter

salt and black pepper

Condiments (Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, Etc)

1 pack thin sliced sharp cheddar cheese (optional)


Prep

You can do the patties a couple of different ways. I pressed out a thin layers of ground beef onto my cutting board ( about 1/4″ thin) and cut it into 3″x3″ squares. Then take the parts you cut off add it back the rest of the beef and repeat until all of the beef is used. Or you can just press out each patty about the same size and not worry about them being square. I just happened to be feeling a little nostalgic for the little square Krystal burgers.

Cut all of the rolls in half to look like little buns and place on a plate. I will get into how to steam those easily in a minute.

If you want cheese on your sliders just cut several cheese slices into quarters. This should make small cheese slices that fit perfectly on your little burgers.

Cooking

First heat a large frying pan to medium high heat and add the butter and let it melt. Now add the diced onion and cook until they start to turn clear then transfer them to a bowl. In the same pan cook your patties to a nice dark brown. I would normally never tell you to press the patties with a spatula because it just pushes all the yummy juices out of them but these are small thin patties and you want them to stay thin. The patties do not take long to cook, about 3 to 4 minutes per side then transfer them to a plate. While the last few patties are cooking take the plate of buns and cover them with a damp paper towel (damp not wet). Place them into the microwave for about 45 seconds. This will warm them and steam them a little making them nice and soft.

Assembly

Now comes the fun part.

One by one take a bun separate the halves. Spoon a nice spoonful of onion onto the bottom half then place a burger on top, add a slice of cheese (if you want) and then a small squirt of mustard or whatever condiment you like. I went with mustard to more closely mimic the Krystal burgers. Now place two to three pickle slices on top and add the other half of the bun to finish it off. Repeat this until you have no more patties. If you have an odd number of buns to patties you can always double up and make double sliders. But only if you are feeling daring.

Put a couple on a plate and add some fries and you are ready to go. This is fun for a get together of friends or a special treat if you are home alone and have some time to kill. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading

JMW

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Collard Greens (Not just a side)

There are many side dishes out there that can be tweaked a little to be turned into a main course if  you just have a little imagination. Now I know that a lot of people tend to turn their nose up and say ewwww to different greens and it is mostly because of the smell they give off while cooking or just a general loathing of anything green. To you people I say give them a chance because once they are done and you get that first bite you will be hooked. I grew up eating collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens and love them when they are cooked properly which unfortunately is something a lot of places don’t do. Most restaurants will have them on the menu as a side dish and that is fine but I am here to show you that this does not have to be the case. You can make them where they are the main dish and you will be looking for something else to put on the side.

So here is what you need to make this tasty dish

Ingredients

3 bunches of fresh collard greens

2 lbs country style (pork) ribs (boneless)

1/4 lb sliced salt pork (you can use bacon but salt pork is better)

Garlic Powder

Black Pepper

Red Pepper Flakes

Prep

Cut the the salt pork into small 1″ pieces

Cut the pork ribs down to 2″ square pieces

Cut the stems off of the collards right at the bottom of the leaf and throw them away, now rinse the leaves, then cut the leaves into small 1 to 2 inch squares and set aside in a bowl.

Cooking

In a large pot with a lid you want to cook the salt pork first. You are going to cook it on medium high heat until it is golden brown and most of the fat has been rendered off to make a nice cooking oil. Then add the pork ribs in and season with the garlic powder and black pepper (Use about a tablespoon each). Cook the ribs until they are nice a brown and crisp on the outside. Now reduce the heat to medium and drain off any excess oil. Add in the cut up greens and red pepper flakes and put the lid on the pot. Cook them on medium for about 45 minutes occasionally stirring.  Now reduce the heat to low and cook for another 45 minutes.

By now the greens should be nice and soft and the ribs should be tender and starting to fall apart.

That’s all there is to it.  A nice dish that is great by itself or accompanied by sides.
Enjoy

Thanks for reading,

JMW

Lazy Day Recipe Help #4

Chicken and Dumplings

There are certain foods out there that scream comfort food and to me Chicken and Dumplings is one of those. Now I don’t always have time to mix up the dough and make the dumplings myself or stand in the kitchen and cook everything and I know that you may not either, so I have come up with a slow cooker version of the dish that will be easy for you to get started in the morning and have ready in the afternoon with plenty of time in between to run your errands or do whatever you have to do.

Here is what you need.

Ingredients

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1/2″ to an 1″ size cubes)

3 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup diced onion (white onion)

1 bag of Pillsbury Grands Southern style frozen biscuits (12ct) (keep partially frozen)

2 tablespoons black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

4 cups water

white all purpose flour (optional)

Prep and cooking

Setup your crock pot and set it to low heat. Empty all 4 soup cans into the crock pot along with the water and onions. Stir it all together.

Cut up your chicken and add it to the pot and stir in the pepper, garlic and salt and cover with lid

Tip: Frozen items such as biscuits or french fries can be re-purposed and used as a quick addition to a recipe to save time.

Now comes the fun part. You will want to set the biscuits out ahead of time to start thawing. You do not want them fully thawed but just enough to be able to cut them into about 8 pieces each.  If the biscuits do thaw too much and start to stick together you will want to toss out a little all purpose flour on your cutting board and roll them around a little as you cut, this will keep the pieces from sticking together. After you cut them all up add them to the crock pot, stir them in and cover. You will want to let this cook on low for about 4 to 5 hrs. You can give it a couple of good stirs throughout the cooking process if you are available to get things blending together nicely. When it is done you should have a nice thick creamy gravy like sauce that you can hardly tell from the dumplings. The chicken should be cooked white all the way through and tender enough to cut with a fork or spoon.

Tip: Slow cooker dishes such as this one are great to make and then freeze as individual portions for eating later.

This is a good and hearty dish that goes great as a main course or a side to a larger meal.
This is one of my favorite comfort food meals and is great to just sit back and relax while it cooks on a lazy day.

Enjoy
Thanks for reading,

JMW