***Disclosure: As a World Market Ambassador, I received complimentary product to facilitate my post. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
What's your favorite part of summer? Heading to the beach? Maybe having an adventure somewhere tropical like Fiji? Or maybe it's something more simple and close to home like BBQ & Grilling?
In my family, we tend to stay close to home. Our town has a wonderful variety of things to do in the summer, like themed riverfront festivals, a fun outdoor waterpark, a fountain for the kids to play in at Riverfront Square, and of course, every weekend there's live music on the river, just a couple of blocks from our home. Oh, add to that the fact that my little town has 26 parks to enjoy, we have everything we need for quality family time right in our own backyard.
So of course, we spend a lot of time focusing on outdoor dining & entertaining. We've got a pretty great set up in our backyard, including kid-friendly things like a bounce castle, a huge waterslide, a wooden playground, a hammock, and a fire pit for roasting S'mores. On the deck, we have adult pleasures like a cooler for adult beverages, WiFi speakers for tunes, and of course, the grill. Ahh, the grill. As a total foodie, any chance to cook outdoors gets me all giddy.
I absolutely love grilling, and was so excited when I found this Deluxe Mini Burger Set when I was out shopping at World Market for summer decor and entertaining supplies. As the mother of 2 smaller kids, sliders are the perfect size for their little hands.
This adorable grilling basket holds 9 burgers, and even includes a mini burger press to make perfect, uniform patties every time. So basically, I just HAD to buy it! (As well as some grilling tools, burger baskets, and of course condiments to make some truly gourmet sliders for my family...But who's counting?)
Last night, since it had finally stopped raining here in NE Ohio for the first time in about a week, I finally got the chance to have a fun burger night with my family and a couple of friends. We made several "big burgers" for the adults, as well as 9 cute little sliders for the kids. I just love the convenience of this mini-burger basket. It keeps the sliders from falling between the grill grates. And let's face it...When cooking sliders, this happens easily, and happens more often than I'd care to admit.
Sliders are meant to be fun, right? When I see them featured on TV on the Food Network, they always seem to have fun, often internationally-inspired flavor profiles. So of course, since I had already gone shopping at World Market and picked up several imported condiments, I wanted to see if I could come up with a trio of sliders, each with its very own unique flavor. I used products like Inglehoffer Cream Style Horseradish, Pesto Alla Genovese, and a beautiful Black Olive Tapenade and Dip. And since I am a cheese addict, I just had to grab some Glacier Ridge Farms Smoked Gouda.
As our sliders were grilling away to perfection, I started assembling my buns and toppings. I used King's Hawaiian Rolls and just sliced them in half to make a bun. I love the sweetness found in this delicious bread, but any kind of small roll can be used. Or, if you're not as lazy as we are at the end of a busy day, you can even bake your own.
I decided to make 3 very different sliders: a Steakhouse Slider, a Taste of Italy Slider, and a Jalapeno BBQ Slider. The burgers are just 80/20 Ground Chuck, seasoned with a little coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The magic happens when you add the toppings. It's amazing how simple toppings and condiments can take an ordinary old burger to extraordinarily tasty new places.
For my Taste of Italy Slider, I melted some smoked gouda on the slider while still on the grill. On the bun, I put a nice layer of Black Olive Tapenade on the bottom and a layer of Pesto on the top bun. I also added some fresh field greens and some fresh basil leaves. This combination is absolutely amazing, and definitely has a Mediterranean feel to it.
My Steakhouse Slider was inspired by...well...going to a nice steakhouse! I added smoked gouda to this slider as well, since it will really add nice dimension and creaminess to this burger. I brushed both sides of the bun with the Horseradish Creme and then added some sauteed Cremini mushrooms to the bottom. (I just sauteed them in some butter, a splash of Worcestershire Sauce, and a little salt and pepper.) Add the patty, throw some bacon on top, add just a dash of your favorite steak sauce and viola! You've brought the savory goodness of a steak house to your own backyard. This would also be amazing with some crispy onion straws, but I didn't have any.
The third slider I made was a bit on the spicy, southwestern side. I added some sharp cheddar to this patty while still on the grill. This would also be great with Pepperjack if you have it on hand. I then added equal parts BBQ sauce and Sriracha and mixed them together. This spicy spread goes on the bottom bun. Or the top. Doesn't really matter, as long as it's on there. After the cheese got all melty and gooey, I plopped that burger down on the bun. I added some pickled Jalapeno slices and some bacony goodness to this bad boy. Be warned, this IS quite spicy. You might need a glass of milk nearby. But the flavor is explosive, and oh-so-fabulous. If you like a little kick in your meals, you'll definitely like this slider!
Of course you can't have burgers without some sides. Summer cookouts without fresh corn on the cob, fries, and other delicious sides would just be blasphemous, don't you agree?
In addition to buttery corn on the cob and fresh cut seasoned fries, I set out a half-and-half platter for the kids to munch on. By half-and-half, I mean half healthy and half...well...not so much. On a large divided tray, I added some fresh veggies like broccoli and carrots to 2 sections, potato chips in the other 2, and then some creamy French Onion dip in the middle. Best of both worlds, I suppose!
And of course, you're going to want some pickles to go with your burgers. Rather than any old pickles, I highly recommend Cracovia Whole Polish Dill Pickles. These have a very distinct flavor that you just don't find in our grocery store brands, and they are super-affordable, too! Check them out at World Market in their food aisles. These will be right near the olives and various oils.
One thing I love about sliders is that they can be fun or they can be sophisticated. The adults ate theirs off of fancy white square plates. The kids, however, had their sliders, fries and corn in some retro burger baskets, complete with checkered basket liners. This made them feel like they were getting a special treat, just like they do when we eat out!
I absolutely love this time of year. Grilling, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the weather definitely helps me to relax. I love cooking and experimenting with new flavors, especially those of other countries or regions.
Speaking of other locations, how would you like to win a Great Summer Getaway?
The folks at World Market have teamed up with Southwest Airlines to offer 4 weekly winners just that! Plus, on top of airfare and hotel accommodations, winners will also receive a $500 World Market gift card! How cool is that?!
To enter, just click the image below and be taken to the official entry form. Good luck!
How do YOU get creative while cooking out during the summer? Do you have any must-try recipes? I'd love to hear about them!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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