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Next Thursday, 2/5- 5-7pm Make an Easy French Dinner at Home Class at Shouse.  Still have a few openings.  Message me or leave a comment.  Home class on 2/14, 10-12, is full, but I’m taking names for a wait list.  Now for the sliders….

I’ll just be waiting for the puppy commercials; you know me. I might look at the score a time or two…

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or I’ll be leafing through the NYT, digging into the book reviews with my feet up and a glass of zinfandel at the ready.  I’ve got a Louise Penny book I’ve been saving; that’ll be on the table, too.  But the game will be on, Dave and a couple of friends will be drinking a few beers and at the end I’ll know who won. I hope.

Just so I can enjoy it all like everyone else, I’ve got these quicker than the extra point (like I know what an extra point is) sloppy joe sliders that are ready and waiting.  I’m making the meat and barbecue sauce today–a double batch since I’ll take some to the Jenn-Air kitchen at Shouse tomorrow– freezing the meat, and will only have to heat it all up, chop the cabbage for coleslaw, and make a batch of Sangria for our “cocktail.”  Try this:

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BBQ PORK SLOPPY JOE SLIDERS WITH CILANTRO COLESLAW AND CRISPY ONIONS

makes  about 16 sliders

These may be the fastest and easiest sliders around. Ground chicken combined with ground pork lightens the sandwich just a tish and the small amount bacon adds just the right amount of smokiness.  No time for coleslaw?  Just shred some cabbage and toss with some minced cilantro. Skip the onions if they aren’t your style.  Touchdown!

  • 2 pieces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped*
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (half red and half green works well)*
  • 1 garlic clove, minced*
  • 3/4 teaspoon EACH:  Chili powder, Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • Hot sauce, optional
  • 4 cups Barbecue sauce, divided– 2 cups for the meat and 2 cup for dipping ( recipe below or use store-bought, I like Stubbs)
  • Cilantro coleslaw-1/4 cup for each slider and more for a side (recipe below or use purchased slaw from the deli) OR Shredded Cabbage mixed with Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 cup crispy onions–homemade or canned (French’s)
  • 16 slider buns, split, buttered, and grilled

◊In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat about half-way to crispy; add onions and peppers.  Cook 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are softening; add garlic and cook another minute.  Season with the chili powder, salt, and pepper; stir well. Add pork and chicken, breaking up and stirring well so there are not big clumps of meat.  Cook, stirring, until the meat is cooked through with no pink showing.  Stir in 2 cups barbecue sauce and let cook another 3 or 4 minutes to heat through. Spoon off 3 or 4 tablespoons of the fat in the pan or sop them up with very thickly wadded paper towels.  Stir.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

◊Divide between slider buns, topping each with a little coleslaw and a few shreds of the crispy onions.  Place bowl with the remaining 2 cups of barbecue sauce on the table with a small ladle.

*You can throw the onions and peppers into the food processor for quicker chopping. The garlic will still need to be minced by hand or on a grater as it’s added a bit later.

Barbecue Sauce–Use this recipe, make your own, or buy a great bottle at the store.

2 cups each ketchup and chili sauce
1/4 cup each lemon juice and red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons each yellow mustard, Worcestershire, A-1 Sauce
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4-5 Shakes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons celery seed

Whisk together in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium flame. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Lower heat to simmer and let cook 30 minutes.  Store leftovers in a tightly sealed jar for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. (This recipe is a riff on a great bbq sauce from the wonderful, but out-of-date Colorado cookbook BYTES–Colorado’s Family Friendly Cookbook. Sometimes there’s a used copy available, such as here.)

For a list of the the best tested bottled BBQ sauces and some recipes, too, click here.

Crunch, Crunch–Here’s your slaw.  It keeps in the fridge several days.

CILANTRO COLESLAW

6-8 regular servings or enough for topping all your sliders

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, outer leaves removed, cored, shredded coarsely into 1/4″ slices with chef’s knife
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and minced (white and green parts)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon each crushed red pepper  and freshly ground white pepper (can sub black)
  • 2 pinches white sugar, divided
  • 2 Tablespons white vinegar, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise (or to taste)
In a large bowl, place cabbage, onions, carrot, cilantro, mint (if using) and toss well.  Sprinkle with salt (to taste), both peppers, and the first pinch of sugar.   Add 1 T vinegar and toss well.  
Set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together the other 1 T vinegar with the mayonnaise and the second pinch of sugar.   Pour over cabbage mixture and toss well.  Taste and re-season.  Serve at room temperature or cold.   Store tightly covered in refrigerator up to 4 days. 
Solo Cook’s Note:  If you’d like the salad with less fat (no mayonnaise), it’s tasty with ONLY THE VINEGAR (and spices) for dressing.  If you like coleslaw a bit wetter and are going to eat it all in one day, you’ll be happy with more mayonnaise.   Please skip crushed red pepper if you don’t like spicy food.

 SYRAH SANGRIA

serves 6  —  doubles easily

3 cups Syrah or Côtes du Rhône or other big-bodied red wine
1/3 cup each:  port and simple syrup at room temperature*
1/2 cup orange juice, optional
2 cups  strawberries and any other spring fruit, sliced
6 sprigs fresh mint
ice
12-16 oz club soda, sparkling water, or sparkling wine

Early in the day or the night before, mix wine, port, cooled simple syrup, oj (if using), and berries in a big pitcher.  Taste and add more port and/or simple syrup if too light, dull, or sour.   Refrigerate, well covered, until very cold.  To serve,  pour into large wine glasses over ice, garnish with a sprig of mint, and top off with a big splash of sparkling wine or water.

Optional:  Since many people like citrus in their sangria, you could also add some sliced lemon and orange to the wine mixture before refrigerating.

*To make simple syrup (so good in iced tea),  combine equal parts water and white sugar in a small sauce pan.  Heat to boiling, stir well, and remove from heat.  Let cool completely before using.  Store leftovers in a small jar with a tightly-fitted lid and use for lemonade or iced tea another day.

{printable recipe}     —   printable recipe includes recipes for sandwiches, coleslaw, and sangria

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DRINKS:  “Cocktail”  Sangria (see above)  Beer:  Pale Ale.  Wine:  Zinfandel  Kids:  Sparkling Lemonade + Leave out a big pitcher of iced water and glasses for everyone.
STARTERS:  Do a great veggie platter for the first half. I love Melissa Clark’s Greek Goddess dip (recipe included in the link).

DESSERT: Brownies my way.

If you liked this, you might like a few other More Time recipes that would work well for game day: