Meatloaf Sliders: Yes, I Just Said That

Friday, September 27, 2013

A few weeks ago I was goofing around in the kitchen. The kids were bored, I was bored. And out of boredom comes playing with ideas. I had a classic American menu planned that day: turkey meatloaf, butter lettuce salad with ranch dressing, and biscuits. Yes, they were canned tonight because it was Wednesday and well...that's what happens when your kids are in school and it's Wednesday. I was staring at all the different components and thought, "what if I just put them all together into a slider?" Perhaps the novelty would turn an otherwise boring Wednesday more fun.
It did.
And it worked!
The kids and I loved the sliders -- moist and tender turkey meatloaf with spongy, soft hot biscuits and cool, crisp butter lettuce cut with herbed goodness of ranch dressing. It was actually very tasty indeed! These would be perfect for your next party, really perfect for football game days, or a fun take for a cocktail party. Nothing crazy here for flavor combinations; just really basic, classic American style here. If you want to make your own biscuits from scratch even better, but the canned ones worked great in a pinch!
Meatloaf Sliders
1 lb. ground turkey (I like thigh meat for meatloaf, but breast is fine too)
1 small white onion, chopped finely
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil or other cooking oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 slice white sandwich bread torn into small pieces and soaked in about 1/8 cup milk
1 Tbsp ketchup (for mixture) + 1/4 cup for topping -- set apart
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
splash Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 can baking biscuits
butter lettuce -- rinsed well with cold water and patted dry
your favorite ranch dressing
First make the sliders. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a saut√© pan. Add the onions and cook on medium-low heat until just beginning to turn translucent and softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute. Remove from heat.
Place the turkey in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion-garlic mixture. Add the beaten egg, herbs, and tablespoon of ketchup (keep the rest for the topping). Take the sandwich bread and squeeze the milk, then add it to the meat mixture; keep the milk on hand in case you need to add it. Begin to incorporate all the ingredients together until combined. You want the consistency of the mixture to be quite soft, but still be able to hold its shape in a patty or ball form. If it falls apart you have too much moisture; add a little more white bread (unsoaked) or dry breadcrumbs; if it's too dry go ahead and all that reserved milk from the bread.
Once the mixture is proper consistency, form into balls. A pound will yield about 8-9 baseball sized balls. Place the formed balls in an oven-proof casserole dish or baking sheet.
Next, make the topping. Combine the remaining ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Spoon a generous amount over each meatloaf ball.

Bake in oven until cooked through, about 13 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size you make the balls as well as the strength of your oven.

Bake the biscuits according to package directions and set aside.

When you are ready to assemble the sliders, simply take a biscuit and cut it in half. Place a meatloaf patty on the bottom, top with some lettuce and spread some ranch dressing on the other half of the biscuit, then top. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead Tip:
You can prepare the meatloaf mixture ahead of time -- up to a day or even two in advance -- and keep refrigerated until you're ready to bake.

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