Sunday, August 1, 2010
Blue Cheese Bacon Sliders for "the Project"
Oh, and take a look at the buns...
Well, not really. If you've been following along, you have seen those toppings other places... "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provance", that's the herb topped bun at the bottom; Sesame Seed with Kosher Salt Herb Mix", those are the dramatic looking Black and White seed toppings in the middle; and finally, at the top, my favorite way to add a kick to your burger... CAJUN SPICE RUB - Blackening Seasoning Mix! All three of these spice mixes I have on hand all the time. These pretty buns took me a grand total of 60 seconds to add the extra look.
But first a quiz...
It's 4:20 in the afternoon, and you drive by this house every afternoon to get home. "Puff the magic Dragon" is playing on your iPod, and your good friend Harold is coming over for dinner with his buddy, Kumar.
What do you serve???
Right, your best efforts to make upscale White Castle Slidders! And shame on any of you who caught the references.
BTW, the white castle in the photo is about 50 feet from my front door, so I do see that house every day. I always wonder if the guy with the million dollar location (beach front property, with an amazing view) really wanted his house to look like a restaurant...
But I digress...
First, the buns...
They're just little hamburger buns.
You've seen the recipe before, it's my beloved ENG BREAD. A sweet French bread, very versatile. You can make a round bowl size loaf, a more traditional long loaf, smaller long hot dog bun size or now little tiny hamburger buns.
ENG BREAD is my very favorite bread. Not only does it have a little extra sweet, but it reminds me of my beloved cat. He used to watch me knead the bread dough from his perch near my kitchen counter.
Nearly fool proof in it's simplicity, comes together fast (only a 2 hour rise, followed by a shaping and second rise of an hour... fast for a yeast bread). It slices for a sandwich, tastes great as a bun for your burgers or hot dogs and is easily "topped" to give your food that dramatic, "superior to you" look that we want when serving friends simple things.
For the recipe, follow this ENG BREAD link. When you get to the shaping phase, divide the dough into 12 equal sizes. Form each into a ball and press gently onto the parchment paper. As the dough does it's final rise, they will settle into a flat bottom, rounded top perfect looking mini-bun! To get the topping look, I just do a simple egg wash (beat an egg, and brush the tops of the buns with the egg). This guarantees that the toppings will stick to the dough. I like to sprinkle a little paprika on the top to get a beautiful "toasted to a golden brown" look. Then just sprinkle the toppings of choice on the top of the bun. The baking will add a roasted taste of the spices, making them POP.
At White Castle (the restaurants, not the house in the Virgin Islands), I eat about a half dozen of theirs. But, at the fancy restaurants, when you order sliders, they always seem to serve them in threes. SO, I liked the idea of topping some with all three of my "standard" spice/herb mixes. Everyone gets three sliders, everyone gets 1 of each of the fancy toppings buns!
I was making 12 sliders, I used 2 pounds of ground beef (80/20 mix so the fat flavors the meat), divided into 1/6th of a pound each.
The blue cheese is an equal mix of blue cheese and cream cheese. I heat this in a pan to get the mix soft.
And the bacon...
Mango Glazed Bacon ala Bobby Flay.
They are beautiful things on their own, and proved to be very useful... PIZZA - Walnut Pesto with Mango Glazed Bacon Pizza. AND Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops. Certainly worthy of the bragging you have read.
And now, I use the last of the pound of bacon I made to grace my tribute to . And again, if you get the joke, you should be watching Turner Classic Movies channel instead of CineMax.
I would write more lovingly about these, but I'm getting the munchies.