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Stuffed Sliders Your Way

Makesabout 30 (2-inch) sliders
  • Active time: 45 min
    Total time: 1 1/2 hr

Treat this recipe as a basic template from which to have a blast mixing and matching different meats with different cheeses. The Parmesan is a must and not an option to switch out; it’s the magic ingredient that will make the meat more savory and any cheese you stuff in your slider taste cheesier.

The recipe can be halved or doubled easily, so if there are a lot of kids in your crowd, you might want to cut back on the number you make. If a bunch of your drinking buddies are on their way over, however, you’ll likely want to do 1 1/2 times the recipe, or even double it.

We’ve given you suggestions for toppers and meat-and-cheese combinations, but those are just ideas to get your imagination going. If the weather is cooperative, fire up your grill, but if you are grill-less, the broiler does a fine job. Any which way you do it, you can’t help but have fun!

INGREDIENTS:

For Burgers:

  • 3 pounds ground beef, turkey, lamb, or pork
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or other fresh herbs; see Cooks’ Notes)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
  • 6 ounces Cheddar, feta, Saga blue cheese, Gouda, Pepper Jack, or whatever cheese you’re partial to, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 30 (2-inch; a.k.a. party size) soft rolls, such as potato and brioche, or mini pitas

Toppers:

  • lettuce, sliced tomatoes, coleslaw, pickles, sliced raw onion and/or sautéed golden brown onions (see Cooks’ Notes), ketchup, barbecue sauce, and garlic yogurt sauce (see Cooks’ Notes)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Gently combine meat, eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper with your hands. (Do not overmix).
  • Form scant 1/4 cupfuls of meat mixture into about 30 meatballs. Push a cheese cube into center of each ball and encase meat around cheese, then slightly flatten each ball to a 2-inch diameter.
  • Broiler Directions: Preheat broiler. Put half of sliders on an oiled rack of a broiler pan and broil, turning over once, until just cooked through (no longer pink), 4 to 8 minutes total. Repeat with remaining sliders.
  • Grill Directions: For easy entertaining, go with a gas grill. Preheat all burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then adjust heat to medium-high. Grill sliders, in batches if necessary, turning once, until just cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes total.
  • Make sliders with toppings and rolls.

COOKS’ NOTES:

  • Lamb Sliders: Go Greek! Substitute mint for the parsley and stuff the balls with feta cheese. For an easy sauce, mix together 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt, 1 small garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press, and salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped fresh mint if you’d like. Slide the sliders inside split mini-pitas and top with the sauce.
  • Beef and Blue Sliders: We love the melting quality of Saga Blue but go for your favorite blue cheese. A tangle of golden brown sautéed onions on top will make you swoon. (Sauté 1 to 1 1/2 pounds sliced onions in 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat with some chopped fresh thyme and salt, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes.)
  • Turkey Cheddar Sliders: Opt for all dark meat or half dark meat mixed with half breast meat (all breast meat will be too dry) and substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or thyme for the parsley. Or go Dutch with Gouda. Top with slices of red onion and pickles. Even some cilantro sprigs would be good here.
  • Barbecue Pork Burgers: To include or skip the parsley is up to you, but we’re all for ramping up the heat with Pepper Jack or wimp out on plain Monterey Jack. Brush the tops with your favorite barbecue sauce just before flipping them; brush the second side with more sauce and finish cooking. The topping? Coleslaw, of course!
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