JOHN’S BACON-ONION SLIDERS
One fine day when I was minding my own business, I was asked to cook sliders on live TV the next morning – and that “opportunity” (come on, isn’t everything?) sent me meandering down Memory Lane on the way to the supermarket. After all, I grew up eating sliders without ever hearing the name, at a little place called Royal Castle that must have been related somehow or other to the better-known White Castle. Many an early-morning fishing trip with my father featured those caramelized-oniony almost one-bite burgerettes eaten in the car in the predawn dark on our way to the dock.
3 slices bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Creole seasoning, or salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon finely chopped parsley
12 slices pepper jack cheese
12 small slider buns or dinner rolls
Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Cook onion in bacon fat until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer. Remove mixture from pan and let cool. Crumble bacon when cool enough to handle. In a large bowl, combine beef, bacon, onion mixture, Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, crushed red pepper and parsley, mixing well. Form into 12 small patties and chill. Preheat grill to medium; oil when hot. Cook burgers for about 7 minutes for medium rare, turning once halfway through. Serve sliders with cheese on rolls, melting cheese under the broiler if desired. Makes 12 sliders.