Everyone likes cute little buns, right? How else to explain the sudden popularity of, ah... sliders.
Okay, so maybe there are a few other reasons. But though the petite little miniburger has been around since the White Castle chain was founded in the 1920s, it wasn't until the last couple of years that sliders of ground beef, pulled pork, crab cakes, whatever have become the sandwich equivalent of the caesar salad on local restaurant menus.
And why not? They're fun to eat, great for parties and small enough to customize individually at a single meal. To feed my slider jones I've used dinner rolls, trimmed-down regular burger buns and even rounds off a French baguette. But cruising through my local Publix the other day was the answer to my slider prayers, a display full of Pepperidge Farm slider buns, 12 to a package for $2.99.
Of course I had to get some, and thinking about the pulled pork sliders with cole slaw I had recently at Gratify in West Palm Beach, I figured that combo would make a pretty tasty inaugural recipe. To make it easy I grabbed some pulled pork from Sheila's in Lake Worth and tossed it very lightly with my own barbecue sauce (which is actually Sonny's mild and hot sauces blended in a two-to-one ratio).
Then I remembered something from one of my friend Brad Ogden's
restaurants in California, that the combination of barbecue and avocado
is a match made in, as Guy Fieri might put it, Flavortown. So, wanting
both cole slaw and 'cado with my 'cue, I mashed up half a small avocado,
pureed it with a little mayo and a lot of lime juice until it was silky
smooth, and just to get a little multiculti about it, added some
chopped cilantro and toasted and ground cumin. Then I finely shredded
some cabbage and red onion, tossed it with the avocado dressing and let
it sit in the fridge for a few hours to come together.
Onto the slider buns, brushed with olive oil and toasted, went the pork
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and a square of cheddar cheese. Then under the broiler to melt the
cheese, add a big dollop of slaw, clamp down the top of the bun and...
you can see for yourself. They were pretty damned tasty. Gotta love those
cute little buns.