I love sliders!!! I actually can't believe the name has stuck around. Sliders (or slyders) got their name from the mini burger served at White Castle (according to Wikipedia and me).
Before college, I had never even heard of White Castle. All the engineering boyz in my class introduced sliders to me sophomore year of college. They basically tied me up and forced me to go experience White Castle. Then, they continued to harass me to try these slyders. All I remember is that there were HUGE boxes of 30 + slyders that they ordered, each of them ate between 10-20, our lab stank so bad, they kept placing slyders in my work area hoping I would give in, and I never took one bite.
First, they told me they were called sliders because they are so greasy that they slide right through your digestive system. They explained it in a much grosser way. Second, they were some ridiculous price like 10 cent each.
A few years ago, sliders started showing up on menus as appetizers or happy hour food. I was hesitant because, obviously, I have been slightly traumatized. But, I eventually gave in. And I have almost never been disappointed.
I think making the burgers smaller makes it easier to perfectly cook the meat. They are made small with the intention that you will eat more, but actually one is the perfect size really. And they are just so cute. I love mini things now. I am turning into Giada!
These burgers are flavored with garlic and Dijon. And then topped with melted Gruyere, tomato, red onion and baby arugula. I made this sauce and really liked the horseradish with the rest of the flavors. It was recommended as a dipping sauce for the oven fried onion rings that we had with these sliders. But I didn't think the onion rings needed a sauce.
Ina Garten’s Sliders
by Ina Garten via Food Network
2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)
1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
3 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces grated Gruyere
12 small Brioche buns
4 ounces baby arugula
3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
Ketchup, for serving
Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.
Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients. Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.
When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking. Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until mediumrare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place 1/2-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid. Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.
Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill. Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion. Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.
(Servings: 12, Prep time: 25 min., Cook time: 10 min., Difficulty: Easy)