January 17, 2008

Mini Buffet Burgers... Sliders or White Castle Burgers

In our household these are simple called "Mini Cheeseburgers" and the cheers ring out from the family when they hear I'm making them. What I find most interesting about this particular dish is that I eat them. You see, I won't eat regular cheeseburgers. I've always had 'issues' with ground beef ever since I was a child and sat picking huge chunks of meat out of my mothers taco salad and chili. Had she browned the pieces smaller or finer I might not have had such an aversion, but alas, she did, and I've not had a love affair with ground beef since.

As a matter of fact in the first few years of marriage I think I only bought ground beef twice until we moved to the heartland of America where ground beef, macaroni pasta and ketchup are 'king' - in part, I believe, due to the high cost of groceries here!

Having said that however, I do like McDonalds Big Macs and cheeseburgers and I do serve cheeseburgers to my carnivorous family while I buy Boca Burgers for me. So that, my friends, is what I find interesting about this recipe. I absolute love these and will eat 5 of them in one sitting!

This time I made them ground turkey instead of ground beef and yum! They were delicious! So if you prefer ground turkey to beef - go for it. Or if you want to mix both turkey and beef that would great too! You'll get the lighter turkey texture with the flavor of the ground beef.

I make my mini buns homemade for this recipe. I realize that some of you don't or won't make homemade bread or buns and that is perfectly ok! But in that case you will either have to track down the mini 2 inch sized buns at your local grocery or baking, or buy frozen bread dough, thaw, divide into golf ball sized pieces and let raise and then bake. The mini size is part of what gives these little guys their flavor and style!

Mini Cheeseburgers

2 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 c soft bread crumbs
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 egg
1/3 c finely diced onion
1 t garlic salt
1 t Italian seasoning
fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 c shredded cheese (I've used mozzarella and cheddar blends)

Combine everything but the cheese. Mash and mix together well either either with a wooden spoon or your hands. Press into a large jelly roll pan (about 15X10 inches). Do not press all the way to the edges, leave one (1) inch between the meat and the edge of the pan for drippings to bake away from the meat. Bake 25 minutes, top the meat with the cheese and continue baking 8-10 minutes more until the meat is done and the cheese is melted. Remove and let set 3-4 minutes and then using a pizza cutter, slice the meat into squares. Place a square on each mini bun. Serve with condiments.

The meat pressed into the pan before baking

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