Cheese Sliders

Many Mini Comfort Foods

Cheese Sliders aka Mini Cheeseburgers
Eater rating: 4.4 / 5  4.4215

Tonight was comfort food party night! The menu consisted of savory roasted asparagus soup garnished with crumbled feta and a roasted asparagus spear; sliders made with 2oz griddled burgers, melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, a slice of dill pickle, mustard, and ketchup on a toasted whole wheat Hawaiian roll; and finally southwestern macaroni and cheese made with a bechamel-based sharp cheddar and havarti cheese sauce, roasted red peppers, fresh jalapeño, chorizo, and cilantro – served up in dainty little parmigiano reggiano cups. The hors d’oeuvres were all washed down with a nice crown and coke(zero)…very light on the coke.

Macaroni and Cheese Bites
Macaroni and Cheese Bites
A: mmm… there’s something fun about small-ified foods.
T: I agree. You can just grab one for a bite, or you can eat 50 of them for 50 bites.
A: ;-) too true. fifty bites might be a bit overboard though. i got full off of just a few of these bites!
T: I did too… I guess the burgers were really more than a bite, though. But much more smallified than a standard burger. Smallified. College worked for me. Not.
A: yeah. we did go to LSU. where we learned things like “smallified”.
T: yeah, things like how to find your keys when you wake up on a stranger’s patio with a black eye and no keys.
A: hehehe oh aaron. :-P what a funny dude. okay! refocus. so, i’m definitely digging on those cute little sliders… le petit hamburger.
Roasted asparagus soup
Shots of roasted asparagus soup
T: they were really tastier than I expected them to be. They had a wonderful sweetness, and yet the sweetness did not overwhelm the savory flavors at all.
A: and the tartness of the pickles. I just have a deep love for burgers. :-) in a perfect world cholesterol wouldn’t exist and i would eat burgers every day. or at least once a week!
T: What did you think about the other hors d’oeuvres?
A: i actually thought they were both really tasty. i pulled all the different dishes from the sidebar poll and made the top three savory comfort foods… in mini versions. it’s really a fantastic idea for an event that Brigitte at Dispensing Happiness made up.
T: it certainly is. So what do you rate these puppies?
A: well, i give the roasted asparagus soup a 4.2/5. It was tasty and i could see myself eating WAY more than a shot full of it (which is a good thing since we’ve a huge ass pot of it). The burgers: i give them a 4.6/5. they were mini, they were greasy, and doggonit i liked them! as far as the mac and cheese was concerned, hey! it’s mac and cheese. what’s not to like. i particularly like the cute little parmesan vessels they came in and the jalapeno accent on top. I give them a 4.44/5.
a comfort drink
A happy drink
T: yeah those little parmesan vessels were incredibly cool. I absolutely loved the burgers and the mac n cheese. The soup was good, but not my favorite thing ever. I give the burgers a 4.6/5. They were super-duper. I give the mac n’ cheese a 4.7/5. I need to have many more bites of it since I’ve only had one thus far. I give the soup a 4.
A: i kind of figured that it wouldn’t be the ultimate soup for you…knowing that brothy chicken based soups are your key to comfort soup. I was particularly inspired to make a roasted veggie soup from nicole’s recent post about roasted cauliflower soup. mmm. Overall i’d have to say it was a pretty successful comfort food hors d’oeuvres party. more sliders anyone?!?
T: more mac n’ cheese, pleese.




A Soup Recipe, by Amanda
Roasted Asparagus Soup

2 lbs aparagus, trimmed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 lg or 2 sm carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 tbsp chicken or vegetable base
8-10 cups water
olive oil
creamy feta, crumbled (garnish)
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with a liberal amount of olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Place seasoned asparagus on a sheet pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, until the asparagus are tender and starting to caramelize on the bottom. Allow the asparagus to cool until you are able to handle it. Set a few asparagus spears aside to use as ganishes in the soup, then roughly chop the rest of the asparagus.

While the asparagus is cooling, preheat a large pot over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil to the pot. Once the pot and oil are hot, add onions, celery, and carrots. Sweat the mirapoix over medium heat until the veggies are tender and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper flaked, stir. Allow the red pepper flakes to cook in the oil for a few seconds then add the water, chicken base, and roughly chopped asparagus. Bring the soup up to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the soup for 20-30 minutes, stirring ocassionally.

After about 30 minutes puree the soup. I recommend using an immersion blender so you don't need to transfer the soup into another container, but a standard blender or food processor will work as well. Just work in batches. Thoroughly puree the soup until there are no chunks of veggies and just one homogeneous mixture. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning as necessary with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. For a smoother consistancy, strain the soup through a chinois or fine mesh sieve. Serve warm with a roasted asparagus spear and a small crumble of creamy feta. Enjoy!

A(nother) Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, by Amanda
A Southwestern Take on Macaroni and Cheese

2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup whole milk
8 oz good quality sharp cheddar, shredded
4 oz havarti, grated
1 tsp cumin
1 lb chorizo, browned and crumbled
1/2 packed cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup of roasted red pepper, diced
2 large jalapenos, 1 diced and 1 thinly sliced(for garnish)
3/4 cup panko
2 cups elbow macaroni
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large pot of water over high heat . Bring the water to a boil while making the bechamel for the cheese sauce. Once the water comes to a boil, add a very liberal amount of salt.

Make the bechamel. Add two tbsp of unsalted butter to a medium-sized saucepan. Place the sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once the butter has finished melting, add 2 tbsp of flour to the pan to make the roux. Whisk the flour and butter constantly for about 1 minute so that the "raw flour" flavor has a chance to cook away but not long enough for the flour to brown. Slowly add the milk in a stream while whisking constantly to ensure a smooth, lump-free sauce. Once all the milk has been incorporated, allow the sauce to come to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer the bechemel for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat and add the havarti and sharp cheddar. Stir the sauce until all the cheese has completely melted. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as necessary with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Add the chorizo, cilantro, diced jalapeno, and roasted red pepper to the sauce, stir to combine.

Add the elbow macaroni to the salted boiling water. Cook for two minutes less than the recommended cook time on the package. Drain the pasta then add it back to the pot. Pour the cheese sauce into the pot with the pasta. Toss to coat. Scrape the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish, making sure to get every last drop of sauce. Sprinkle panko over the top of the pasta. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes unti the panko has started to turn golden. Serve hot and garnish with fresh jalapeno slice. This mac and cheese makes a great finger food when served in mini-parmesan cups (recipe below)! Enjoy!

A Recipe, by Amanda
Mini Parmesan Cups

freshly grated parmigiana reggiano
large muffin tin (for baking)
mini-muffin tin (for molding)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven has preheated, sprinkle a solid, yet thin layer of grated parmigiano reggiano in 3 round bottoms of a large muffin tin. Although it's time consuming, it's best to work with only three crisps at a time because they will cool quickly and become immalleable. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven for about three minutes, until the cheese has melted and has just started to turn golden. Remove from the oven and immediately gently extract the pliable rounds from the tin using a butter knife. Using the mini muffin tin as a mold, form cups out of the cheese rounds. Repeat this step as many times as necessary to produce the number of mini parmesan cups you need. The cups work fantastically as a base for all sorts of finger foods and hors d'oeuvres. Enjoy!

22 comments so far:

  1. Nicole says:

    Smallified food…yesssss! Love the burger photo! I think I’m going to steal some of these ideas for my next ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm Night!’ Oh, and thanks for the link ;-)

  2. Butta Buns says:

    I love the chile garnish on the mac and cheese bites! If I were there, I’d probably make a spectacle by hogging the whole plate.

  3. Husband says:

    I love it. These are so awesome and the photos are even better. I love the whole concept especially when you can roll these out to people. Heck, people love these sort of culinary tricks. I can’t wait to see the recipes.

  4. Amanda says:

    thanks nicole! feel free to steal anytime! ooo! it’s been ages since i’ve seen any curb your enthusiasm! that has to be one of our all time favorite shows. what a great concept for a part :-)

    thanks buttabuns! if you were there i would totally let you hog the whole plate!…. then i would whisk myself back into the kitchen and make some more. there is SO much leftover mac and cheese (for me to devour today… and tomorrow!)

    thanks husband! they would definitely work for a little catering event. who in there right mind doesn’t love some hearty comfort foods… mini-fied! it might be monday before we get the recipes up due to friends coming in town, but i promise, they’ll get there! take care!

  5. aria says:

    uuuhhhhhhhhh, eeeeeeeeee those macaroni and cheese bites are too precious! (more high pitched squeels)

    i’m in love with a dainty little jalepenio what am I to do?

    theriousthly, these are all adorable, can you tell i like mini things? and the burgers, skarfff, chomp chomp!

  6. jef says:

    I made the sliders tonight with ground turkey, avocado, carmelized onions and pickles; great idea :)

    can’t agree on the mac and cheese though. Baked MnC is E-V-I-L :)

  7. This food makes me hungrified! I would put those mac n cheese bites in my pockets so I could eat them around town!

  8. Amanda says:

    aria… we should totally have a mini-fest! seriously…. how bad ass would that be? smallified things make me squeal too, just ask T! and where, i demand, is my delicioso squid ink and scallop dish?!? i really could eat that for any meal… any day. :-D

    thanks jef! who doesn’t love mini burgers, and the avocado was a great refreshing addition i’m sure. i so rarely use ground beef when we eat burgers at home, normally it’s all ground turkey, too. we just so happened to get some meat as a family christmas present on t’s side of the fam that we used here. but… oh UN UH! baked mac and cheese is totally the way to go :-P it’s just like stove top only with one step added! ( actually, i usually save part of the cheese sauce and serve the baked with a little extra cheesy goodness.)

    hells yeah, michelle! it’s a dang shame you’s a vegetabletarian! although equally good (if not better) macaroni and cheese bites could easily be produced for say… a cool sd bloggers meetup :-P we still definitely have to do the cooking/photos thing soon…. we are willing hosts! we just need to get rid of these pesty houseguests (j/k) first then i need to get a job… then we MUST do this! know of any job openings? :-)

  9. DENISE says:

    Did I read MAC and CHEESE? YUMMMM! Great work guys!(: It kind of sucks that people do not take much notice to vegetarians. You’re just trying to save the earth but you can’t have the best part of the rest. I guess it’s a give and take thing.

  10. Anna says:

    I love the idea of roasting the asparagus for the soup. Asparagus can be boring but roasting it makes it totally different and wonderful. And so pretty too!

  11. Bobby says:

    I made Honey Lime Quail

  12. Kat says:

    I can totally appreciate the small, greasy burger! They look artery-clogging delicious. You two totally need to pod-cast….just sayin’.

  13. Ros says:

    I had some canapés just like that at a party in the summer- everything was themed around American classics because it was close to Independence Dayand they had things like mini roast chicken, apple pies and burgers.

    Their burgers didn’t look quite as good as yours. And they didn’t have mac and cheese. So you win!

  14. Caroline says:

    What an awesome post… thank you for this. I LOVE mini things. Mini things truly do taste better!

  15. Darlene says:

    Wow it all looks so incredible!!!

    Small foods are the BOMB!

  16. Amanda says:

    thanks denise! it’s definitely a give and take!

    thanks anna! i have to admit, roasting asparagus is my favorite way to eat it… period. there’s just so much more intensified asparagus flavor. mmmm :-) the soup was quite good (although we ended up with more leftovers than we could eat… OOPS!

    MMMM honey lime quail you say, bobby! oh yes. there’s no way that could be bad! i seriously love the honey lime marinade.

    Caroline, i know what you mean! mini things just taste better.. i don’t know why that is. but they’re just so damn cute and tasty!

    Thanks darlene! hell yeah! we should all start a smallified foods community! SFA (smallified foods anonymous) for those of us who can’t get enough smallified foods.
    thanks kat! you know, we’ve talked about it, but we’ll leave the podcasting up to Men in Aprons… although, come to think of it, i haven’t seen them do a podcast in quite some time!

    sweet! i win at something at least! :-P thanks ros! i definitely dig the concept of minis, i can imagine the mini roasted chicken dish was quite good :-)

  17. Tom says:

    These recipes on your blog are getting me sooo hungry. I’m definitely going to try these Mini Comfort Foods this weekend. thanks again !!

    I recently launched my own recipe blog and to celebrate I’m giving away a free mini-cookbook.

    Happy Cooking !

  18. monica says:

    i would like a recipe for mirepoix that i can use as a base to put under a beef roast so as to pot roast it.

    thanx

  19. Dexter Zaf says:

    Wow! this one if like a half pound burger from Mc Donalds.

  20. My problem would be not sliding every one of those little pretties across my lips. lol

  21. Kitty says:

    Hey Amanda, I know this is an old post, but I ahve a question: How far in advance do you think you can make the parmesan cups? How would you store them?

  22. Something i have yet to try, will get right on that :)

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