Sunday, September 14, 2008

What's cooking: Burgers, baby!

Actually, baby burgers. Or sliders, as the more hip call them.

This recipe is from the San Francisco restaurant Absinthe. I've only had a vodka martini there, having passed on the drink for which they are named. Whereas I appreciate the impressive accouterments, I do not like the taste of anise at all.

Their little sliders are another story altogether. This recipe would work fine for a regular-sized burger, but like so many foods, these burgers seem more appealing and even tastier in miniature.

I simplify Absinthe's procedure for the onions. They cook just fine on top of the stove, leaving the oven free for my fries. The aioli recipe produces way more than you will need for these burgers, but I don't know when having homemade aioli in one's fridge is ever a problem. I mixed some of my leftover with smoked paprika the next evening a dabbed it on top of grilled shrimp served with tomato paella.


Aioli (see recipe below)
Spicy caramelized onions (see recipe below)
1 pound top-quality ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Gruyere cheese, sliced
Dijon mustard
small rolls, split

Make the aioli and the caramelized onions. Gently mix the meat, the Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper and form into small patties, making a small indent in the middle of each to prevent it from rising and the patties forming into balls when grilled.

Grill the patties for a few minutes on each side. When you have flipped to the second side, lay cheese sliced across each patty and continue grilling until finished.

Lightly toast split rolls. Wait to place top roll on burger until condiments have been added (else melted cheese will glue patty to roll).

Spread Dijon on top bun. Spread aioli on top of cheese, add onions and top with bun.


2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
from half a small lemon
1 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, pressed

1. In a blender or a stainless steel bowl with a whisk, mix the eggs, mustard, salt and pepper, and lemon juice until it begins to froth. While continuing to mix, add the canola oil in a very slow stream, until it starts to thicken.

2. Add the apple cider vinegar to help thin down the consistency.

3. When all the canola oil is incorporated, slowly add the olive oil. If necessary, add some water to thin down the aioli. Add the garlic to taste and adjust seasoning.

Spicy Caramelized Onions

2 yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 cloves
garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
tablespoon crushed chile flakes
Salt, pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a heavy skillet and cook over medium heat until onions are browned and limp and liquid has cooked off. Allow to cool to room temperature.

I served these with oven fries, heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with flaked black salt, cornichons, and a green salad.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


ThursdayNext said...

Do you think sweet onions would also work well? I just love gruyere cheese and am glad to see it in this recipe!

preppy little dress said...

wow, that seriously looks delicious!! the photo of the slider is making me hungry just looking at it - yummy!!

Monica said...

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Angelina said...

What a delicious sounding dinner! I don't like anise flavor either.

gwendomama said...

wow. great minds.

last night we had little mini burgers (umm...sliders) on tiny challah rolls with sweet swiss cheese. yum.
and corn AND heirloom tomato salad.

jilly said...

Num, what time is dinner?


How come it always tastes better when it is miniature?

Jen Yu said...

On my ginormous list of "things to cook" I want to bake mini slider buns. I have an obsession with small foods... These look terrific! You sure make good use of that flaked black salt :)