Sliders with Cherry Balsamic Sauce

I can’t decide which I love better, the slider patties or the cherry balsamic sauce. Fortunately, I don’t have to decide because they go great together! I used a thinly sliced sourdough bread for the buns to focus the attention on the sliders and sauce and toasting the bread gives just a little crunch. You can easily turn these into full sized burgers by simply making the patty wider and either using bigger slices of sourdough (highly recommended!) or using regular burger buns.

Cherry-SlidersLarge

Time to Make: 20 minutes
Makes 8 to 10 sliders

Ingredients

The Slider Patties

8 ounces of chickenless strips (I use the ones from Trader Joe’s)
2 cups of cubed bread
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
Water as needed
1 teaspoon of cracked green peppercorns (you can substitute black)
3 tablespoons of pine nuts
Olive oil

The Cherry Balsamic Sauce

1/4 cup of dried cherries, rehydrated in warm water
2 tablespoons of balsamic glaze

The Bread

5 to 6 slices of sourdough bread, crust trimmed away

Instructions

In a food processor, grind the meatless strips until they are coarsely ground. Moisten the cubed bread with the soy sauce and enough water so that you can smash the bread into a paste, but not have excess liquid running out of the bread. Make the bread paste and mix it with the peppercorns and pine nuts. Set this aside so the “dough” can set while you make the sauce and toast the bread used for the buns.

“Pine nuts and green peppercorns are one of my favorite combos for a burger patty and it’s based on an old Roman recipe. They also play nicely with the cherry balsamic sauce.”

Puree the rehydrated cherries and balsamic glaze.

“This is a small amount of ingredients because you don’t need a lot for the sliders. However, it may not be enough for your blender to properly puree the sauce. If that’s the case, make a double batch and you can freeze the remainder for later use.”

Toast the bread. Stack the slices of bread together and cut 3″ x 3″ squares out of the bread. These are your buns.

“I love using sourdough bread for this instead of slider buns. The bread has a flavor that complements the other flavors in the sauce and patty and the slices are usually thin, so the sourdough bread doesn’t overwhelm the patties.”

Form the patty mix into 3″ diameter patties about 1/2″ thick. In a skillet, heat the olive oil to just above medium heat. Add the patties to the pan and cook them until they are lightly browned, about 3 minutes, then flip them and brown the other side.

“Because the patties are small, they brown quickly. The trick is to make sure they don’t blacken, so keep a careful eye on them once they go in the pan.”

Spread a thin layer of the cherry balsamic sauce on the bread, sandwich the patties between them, and serve.

“Or don’t serve them and save them all for yourself!”

Make It Low Fat

Instead of cooking the patties in oil, place them on a silicon baking sheet, drape parchment paper over the top, and bake them for 10 minutes at 350°F.

Equipment

Mixing Bowl
Measuring Cup
Measuring Spoon
Spatula
Saute Pan