Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I've been excited about winter ever since it started getting cold here. Yes, seriously. I think it may be a residual effect of living in Puerto Rico for 3 years, and opening Christmas presents in 80 degree weather. Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but I have a new appreciation for winter's benefits. Today, however, I felt a little tinge in my gut when my daughter watched a show that was set in the summertime. Swimming at the lake, nothing-to-do days, hot sun. And grilling. I miss grilling. Well, ok, technically I'm still using my grill, but not very often. And not after 5, thanks to that magic winter sun that disappears at the drop of a hat. My solution? Bake some sliders, baby! The Pioneer Woman (see here)made some big fat bacon sliders IN THE OVEN. So genius. I wanted to put a little more summer in mine though; hence the Hawaiian . These were so juicy and flavorful and delish! We really, really loved these, although my kids picked off the bacon for the most part. (There's a chance that could have been just so they could feed it to our dog Mojo.) So I'm leaving the bacon up to you. To wrap or not to wrap: that is the question.
2 lbs ground beef(for my family of 6)(I used 80/20)
Hawaiian sweet rolls
thinly sliced cheese
thinly sliced bacon(optional)
You'll want to season your ground beef in the morning, so the meat has time to absorb the flavors. Dump your meat in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. (Please, you don't need to act so shocked that I'm not using Tony's.) Drizzle some of the teriyaki sauce over, however much you think will add a touch of sweetness to the meat. Now get your hands in there and mush it all up; you want to make sure the meat is well mixed. Cover with plastic and store in the fridge until you're ready to cook. 30 minutes or so before you're ready to roll out the sliders, take the bowl out of the fridge and let the meat come to room temp. Get out your broiler pan. Preheat your oven to 400. Now look at the size of one of the Hawaiian sweet rolls. Picture the slider in it. Then grab a handful of meat and roll into a large meatball that will fit the bun(I'd say fits comfortably in the palm of your hand). Don't worry, you won't be shot if the size isn't exactly right. Once you've rolled all the meat, now is the time to put the bacon on if you so choose. Cut each strip in half. Wrap one half around meat ball, trying to stretch it enough to touch on the other side. Then take another half slice of bacon and wrap the meat so that it intersects the first slice, making it look like a small Gaga-inspired ribbon-wrapped gift. Regardless of whether or not you used bacon, when the meat is ready to go, drizzle each ball with some teriyaki sauce. Slide the pan of tropical treats into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until done to your liking. You need to know that if you wrap with bacon, the parts of the meat that the bacon covers will still look pink, even when it's done. I'm only mentioning this because that caused a bit of a ruckus with my kids, who seem to feel the need to protect themselves from food poisoning. You can use the firmness method--pushing down on one to determine how done it is--or you can go for the sure thing and just cut one open. Don't worry, it won't go to waste. When done, turn off the oven and pull them out. Top each one with a slice of cheese, and put back in the warm oven while you get out the rolls and condiments. Once your line is assembled, pull out those juicy darlings and add them to the lineup. Now, don't you feel your summer anguish depleting just the tiniest little bit? No? Have another slider.