Monday, August 22, 2016

today's lunch: sliders 3 ways

To celebrate my having paid off my second major debt, I decided to throw a slider party at the office. With beef chuck still being on sale at my building's grocery, I bought 980 grams, asked for it to be ground up into hamburger, then took it back to my place to make sliders. I was able to make ten; the plan was to bring nine to the office so that we three guys could eat three each, so I ate the tenth slider right after having cooked it. It was juicy and delicious. I also brought along a ton of sauces and trimmings so that my boss and coworker could make American, Tex-Mex, Argentinian, or Italian sliders as they saw fit.

Here's the spread (my coworker had already taken one burger):

Above, you see Costco bread, beef slider patties, mayo, barbecue sauce, ketchup, jalapeños, chimichurri, fried cheddar cheese, fried Parmesan cheese, pesto, Gorgonzola, Tex-Mex-style mushrooms (lots of cumin), sweet pickles, chili, spaghetti sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and thick-cut bacon. A person could make the burger at least four ways according to a standard flavor profile: American, Tex-Mex, Argentinian, or Italian.

Here's what I did—I started with American first:

Above: slider with pickles, tomato, cheddar cheese, and barbecue sauce.

Below, I went Tex-Mex: chili, cheddar wedge, and jalapeños. I also added a hunk of thick-cut bacon (see it under the cheese?). I must say, the bacon was a surprise: my grocery was selling it for fairly cheap (by Korean standards, anyway), and it was a generic brand, but it turned out great when I cooked it in the microwave and finished it in a pan.

Finally, I did Italian—pesto, Parmesan wedge, and tomato:

My boss ended up having only two sliders, so my coworker gobbled four. I had three.

My apologies to all you onion-lovers, but I hate onions, so I didn't think to include any. I got no complaints from my fellow diners, so I don't think the absence of onions was tragic.

And a good time was had by all.

POST SCRIPTUM: the fried-cheese wedges tasted great, but instead of being crunchy, they were thick and leathery—a bit hard to chew. I'm pretty sure the problem was that they were all too thick, and I had containerized them before they'd had a chance to cool completely. This means that any remaining steam was trapped inside the container with the cooling cheese, destroying any crispness and turning the cheese leathery. It's a bit of a Catch-22, though: when the cheese is thin and crispy, I often find that it tastes too burned. Too thick, and you get the textural problems I had. My solution, next time, will be to cook the cheese thick again, but to (1) let it cool completely before containerizing, and (2) cut it into thin strips for easier eating. Otherwise, everything tasted amazing.


hahnak said...

sweet! youre very generous with your co-workers! what a fantastic lunch! i love a thinly sliced onion but i dont think i would have missed it at all.

Kevin Kim said...


I've served onion as a trimming to go with things like hamburgers and gyros before, but this time around, I guess I got lazy.

Thanks for the kind words. it was all quite tasty.

Charles said...

Despite the fact that your "sliders" are not orthodox, they still look tasty!

(And no, I wouldn't have known that they weren't orthodox had it not been for the link in your twitter stream. After reading that article I am definitely going to have to give that a try.)

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, Charles. And that was a pretty interesting Serious Eats article, wasn't it?

Charles said...

Well, I'm a sucker for food science/research/experimentation, as you know, so I found it absolutely fascinating.

Now I just need to find the free time to give it a shot.