A few weeks ago I helped throw a surprise 30th birthday party for one of my good guy friends. Of course my big role for the night was the cooking and decorating. I wanted to create a macho menu for the mostly testosterone filled guest list. There would be drinks involved at the party so making food that was substantial enough to balance out the booze was an important factor. With those factors in mind I up with what I think is the ultimate guy’s feast (the ladies loved it too!). Sunday football gatherings are the perfect opportunity to make some (or all!) of this menu. The first post is all about the slider bar.
There were two major “components” to this spread, the Slider Station and the Nacho Nook. Today I am only sharing half of the menu so if you want to get the full feast details you’ll just need to check back on Thursday!
I’ll kick off this two part post with the Slider Station. I made three distinctive sandwiches for the evening. There was Pulled Portobello on Pretzel Buns, Chicken and Waffles and Spicy Meatball Parm sliders. I’m including the recipe for each in this post.
For a rustic personal touch for my Slider Bar setup I used mason jars to hold the plastic utensils, mini chalkboard easels, chalkboard picks and clips to label each menu item. All of the chalkboard items I purchased at World Market. The store is a gold mine for décor and entertaining trinkets. Here is a link to World Market’s chalkboard items: ( http://www.worldmarket.com/search.do?query=chalkboard )
Lastly, I apologize in advance for the picture quality. An iPhone, no natural light, and lots of people all in one room do not make for the best picture quality! But it was too good not to share. Hoping to have a real camera soon to really start tantalizing you with some food photos!
The Ultimate Guys’ Feast Slider Menu:
Pulled Portobello Sliders
Ingredients for Pulled Portobello Sliders
- 1 lb of mini portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
- ½ large vidalia onion, finely chopped
- 1 & ¼ cup Barbecue Sauce (I used Stubbs Sweet Heat)
- ½ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1 & ½ tbsp olive oil
- 14 slider buns (I used pretzel buns but feel free to use whatever you like!)
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high. Add chopped mushrooms and onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Drain any access liquid from the pan. Add barbecue sauce and soy sauce and stir to coat. Cook for another 3 minutes. Serve on your choice of slider bun. (I like to heat my rolls in the oven at 375 degrees for 3-5 minutes to get toasty and warm)
Spicy Meatball Parm Sliders
Ingredients for the Meatball Parm Sliders
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ lb ground veal
- ½ lb ground pork
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp milk
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 ½ jars of arrabbiata sauce (I like Trader Joes brand)
- 6, 12 inch semolina rolls (cut into 3 pieces each, and slit to add meatballs into)
- 1, 4oz ball of fresh mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl add all of the meats, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, milk, and the egg. Using your hands mix all ingredients until combined (To know its mixed enough-there should be no breadcrumbs or egg parts seen, they should all be incorporated into the meat). Grab a foil lined cookie sheet and use a spoon to spread ½ cup of arrabbiata sauce onto the pan. Then roll the meat mixture into large balls (I made 20) and place on top of the sauce on the cookie sheet. Once all meatballs have been formed, loosely cover the meatball lined cookie sheet with foil and put in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn down the oven to 375 degrees once you remove.
While the meatballs are cooking, heat the remaining sauce in a large pot on the stove to get it warm.
Add the finished meatballs to the warm sauce and stir to coat all of the meatballs with sauce.
Assemble your parm sandwiches on baking sheets by adding one meatball and a little extra sauce to your semolina slider roll, top with a thin slice of fresh mozzarella. Bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese is fully melted.
I made my meatballs the night ahead and let them sit in the sauce overnight to absorb. Then I heated the sauce and meatballs over the stove for about an hour before assembling. You can do the sandwiches this way as well!
Chicken and Waffle Sliders:
I need to preface this recipe saying that the sauce and assembly is all mine but, I can’t take credit for the fried chicken or the waffle recipes. I’ve included where you can find both to make my version.
Tools Needed: Candy Thermometer for chicken, Waffle Press, and Martha Stewart’s Recipe:
Ingredients for Chicken & Waffle Sliders
- Martha Stewart’s Fried Chicken Recipe (Instead of a whole chicken I used 3 lbs of chicken breast (Each breast cut into 3 or 4 pieces to fit the sliders before you start the recipe)
- 1 box of Bisquick Belgium Waffle Mix (Follow directions on the box and make 8-10 waffles)
- 3 strips of thick cut bacon
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Make Martha Stewart’s Fried Chicken recipe as the directions say except using your smaller breast meat pieces (note-it takes 2 nights of brining and buttermilk soaking before you fry). Fry the chicken and place on paper towels so any excess oil drips off. Make the buttermilk waffles as directed and cut into quarters.
In a frying pan cook 3 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon but leave the fat in the pan. Turn to medium low heat, add maple syrup. Slowly stir in the heavy cream. Chop the bacon into bits and stir into the maple sauce.
Put one piece of chicken between 2 waffle quarters. Drizzle with the maple bacon sauce.
There you have it, three slider recipes that are sure to please any crowd! Come back on Thursday for Part 2, and the Nacho Bar recipes!
…all for the love of the dish