Wednesday, January 4, 2012


One of the blogs I subscribe to belongs to Ruth Reichl.  Ruth is a very gifted writer with the most amazing food knowledge and experience.  I first read about her in the Sunday Star-Times.  It contained an excerpt from her recently published book, Garlic and Sapphires.  To summarise, while the restaurant critic for the New York Times she adopted a number of characters and dressed up when she went to review restaurants.  She did this to determine what the service and food was like for the actual person attending - not just an influential food writer.  In many cases the gap was startling and reflected poorly on a number of restaurants who did not deserve to be in the 'hospitality business.'  The account is amusing and insightful and for those of us who haven't lived in New York a good introduction to the restaurant business.

Anyway, Ruth was discussing food trends for 2011 and the one I didn't recognise was 'Sliders.'  Two seconds of internet research later and I had my answer: tiny meatball sandwiches.  Basically, cocktail or two-three bites worth of hot meatball sandwich. 

I liked the idea of making something tiny and my friend's annual New Years Day BBQ seemed like a good idea.  My Make-Do Mum version was a little simpler.  I started with the intention of making meatballs but as the day got away with me I made tenderised steak versions.

Slider method Make-Do Mum style:

Make tiny buns.  You can probably find some commercially but I thought that it would actually be easier to make some.  Most of the online meatball slider recipes I read specified a garlic flavoured bread.  I roasted some garlic and had the best intention to knead it into the bread on the second rise.  This didn't happen because I forgot.  I used a standard breadmaker recipe (used three cups of flour) and divided the dough into fifteen segments.  I brushed with milk and sprinkled some poppy seeds over the top.  I could probably have gone a little smaller - making about twenty if I'd been a little less slapdash.

Filling.  The filling is obviously whatever you want.  I caramelised some onions with balsamic drizzle and the last of my avocado oil.  Once caramelised I drained the excess oil and mixed the onions with mayonnaise and some roasted garlic.  I fried some tenderised steak in the drained oil and once cooked cut into small pieces.  Each slider contained the onion mayonnaise, meat and baby spinach.  Because they had to travel each slider was held together with a small skewer then transported via tupperware and pram around the block to join the other food at the BBQ.

I would definitely do these again for parties or pot-luck (shared meals).  I'd like to see how mini I could go!

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