Before we dive right into these colossal over-the-top sliders, I think it’s important to talk about some very exciting news that I’m finally able to share with you. I’ve been keeping this big secret from you for a while now, dropping a few hints here and there whenever possible. Some of you might’ve guessed it by now, or heard it through the grapevine, but I wanted to wait until the right moment to announce it. I just finished writing and photographing my very first cookbook. I’m in the last stages of the editing process and it’s almost ready for y’all to see. Almost. It’s been an extremely long two years in the making, and the entire process has been exciting, tiring, overwhelming, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. It’s hard to explain because part of me wanted to tell everyone right from the get go, but then another part of me was wary because I felt like it was too good to be true. Like I’d eventually wake up to the realization that I’d just dreamt it all. I kept rationalizing my decision to stay quiet by telling myself, “I’ll wait a bit longer until it’s actually official, just in case something changed.” Well, it’s finally official, official and at this point I’m more than certain it’s a reality and my publisher isn’t going to back out. Cue excitement here.
This cookbook is dedicated to my all-time favorite food; SLIDERS! All the sliders you could possibly think of, and then some. It’s called The Slider Effect and it will be published by Andrews McMeel, the same publishing house who puts out all of Chef John Besh’s books and the Calvin and Hobbes books (talk about my childhood dreams come true). You might remember that on more than one occasion, I’ve referred to myself as King of the Sliders, sure it’s self-appointed, but I feel like it’s finally come true. The Slider Effect will feature four chapters on sliders; meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian. There’s something for everyone, so have no fear. There’s also a chapter on homemade buns and rolls, and another chapter on homemade sauces and condiments for those of us that want to rule the world and impress our family and friends.
The book is set to be released in June 2016, so start the countdown now. And while it might seem like it’s still so far away, look on the bright side, at least you didn’t have to wait as long as I did. I’ve been waiting forever. Seriously though, it’s been forever and a day. But I promise it’s worth the wait. The book is beautiful with a capital B, and I’m not just saying this because it’s my book. My agent, editor and designer have made this book look like a dream. A dream I tell you. I’ll keep you posted with all of the updates, and as soon as it goes up for online preorder, you better believe that you’ll be the first to know! There’s still so much to share with you all, and as we ride this wave together I’m ever so thankful to have you there alongside me. I’ll finally be able to get back to my normal schedule and start posting here more often again. Thanks for being so understanding this past year while I’ve posted sparingly on the site. Turns out, it’s hard to juggle a blog, other misc. work and a cookbook. Who would’ve thought?
I’ve created a hashtag (#TheSliderEffect) on instagram and tagged the sneak peek photos I’ve already posted on there. It should all make sense now. Be sure to follow the tag closely for updates and more sneak peeks leading up to the book’s release. Let’s countdown together friends, and make this the best summer cookbook of the year! Sliders really are magical. They bring people together.
Okay, enough of my babbling. Sorry for the long post, I just had a lot to share. In honor of this special occasion, I decided to make these Surf ‘n’ Turf Sliders. While these aren’t in the book (they didn’t make the cut), they are however, an example of what you can expect from my book. They’re not all as labor intensive, I promise. Most of them are rather easy, but they’re all definitely achievable. I hope you’re as excited as I am!
There are quite a few steps to this recipe, and I’ve already taken up so much time by yapping about the book, so let’s dive right in. The first thing you should do is the sauce. Mix together, equal parts mayo and sour cream with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with a bit of salt and pepper.
**Tip: To make this even easier, you can definitely make this sauce either the night before or a couple days before you plan on using it and then just store it in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use! A follower mentioned to me that she uses this sauce (with the addition of garlic) for shrimp tacos. I think that’s genius.**
The next step, is to cut the shallots into thin strips and then toss them into a bowl with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Again, you can do this either the night before or in the morning.
**Note: The red wine vinegar helps break down the acid and strong flavor that raw onions and shallots have in general. It’s a great way to mellow their taste. I do the same thing with red onions whenever I pop them into a salad or something else that doesn’t require them to be cooked.**
Dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour and cornstarch mixture, then into the whisked eggs and back into the dry ingredients. Place them on a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, and let sit for about 10 minutes before frying.
**Note: Allowing the dredged shrimp to sit before frying, ensures that the coating sticks to them! The cornstarch in the flour, gives them an even crunchier texture. Feel free to use potato starch instead, if you have that on hand.**
Fry the shrimp in hot oil, until golden brown and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet.
Once all of the shrimp has been fried, pop the baking sheet in a preheated 250ºF oven and keep warm until ready to assemble the sliders. In the meantime, heat a stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill to about medium high.
Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper and toss on the grill in an even layer. Cook for about 5 minutes until slightly charred and bright green.
Cut the asparagus in half, and transfer the asparagus to a baking sheet and pop those into the oven along with the shrimp, to keep warm. While the grill is still hot, place the meat patties on and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until grill marks form. Flip over and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how you like your meat cooked.
Once all of those components are done, you’re ready to assemble the sliders! Warm the buns in the oven and then spread the top and bottom with our chipotle mayo sauce. Set a few pieces of asparagus on top of each bottom half and then set a meat patty, a piece of shrimp (or two) and a few slices of shallot on top. Replace with the top half of the buns and skewer with a long toothpick to hold in place.
**Tip: I used a Crunchy French Bread Roll for these sliders, the recipe for which is in the book. In the meantime though, use whatever store-bought buns you like.**
Side note: I don’t know why I find assembling sliders to be so soothing and relaxing. Is that weird? Try it, you’ll find it to be fun.
I love sliders because you can serve them at a party for an appetizer or snack, or you can make them for your family for dinner. I always think about three per person is a good serving size. Although, if you’re anything like me and obsessed with sliders, about 4 to 5 are the way to go.
Even though there are quite a few steps to this recipe, don’t let that scare you off. These sliders really are incredible. They’re what you make that special someone in your life because you really want to impress them. Think Valentine’s Day dinner any and every night. There are certain tips and tricks you should keep in mind in order to make these without the stress and all of the effort. Make the sauce a few days beforehand, use store-bought buns, marinate the shallots the night before and shape the patties the night before as well, and keep in the fridge until ready to grill.
**Tip: If asparagus isn’t in season but you still want to make these sliders, try them with grilled broccoli rabe or green beans!**
Don’t forget to check out and follow the #TheSliderEffect tag on instagram. Then once the book is released, we can use that tag to keep track of all of our slider extravaganzas! I’ll have more to share with you soon, so stay tuned.
Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement throughout the years on this, my little corner of the internet. The fact that you continue to come back and check my work out means a lot to me, like you wouldn’t even believe. Your comments and feedback are what I look forward to the most. You guys make this whole food blogging thing so enjoyable. You humble me. Most importantly, I really do hope you enjoy this book. It’s fun and intense and I’ve poured myself into all of its pages and I’m nervous and excited for you to see it. We’re gonna be slider pros very soon.
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 to 4 tablespoons chipotle in adobe sauce (depending on how hot you like it)
- pinch of salt and black pepper
- 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- ¼ red wine vinegar
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- couple dashed hot sauce
- ¾ pound large (21 to 25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- canola oil for frying
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 12 small slider buns
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- To make the sauce, in a small bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, chipotle sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Stir until evenly incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep in fridge for up to 1 week.
- To prepare the shallots, combine the thinly sliced shallots, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. This can be made a day in advance.
- To make the shrimp, combine the flour, cornstarch, Old Bay seasoning, and black pepper in a small shallow dish. Whisk the eggs and hot sauce in a separate shallow dish. To dredge the shrimp, first pass them through the dry ingredients, then into the eggs and finally, back into the dry ingredients. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and continue to dredge the rest. Let sit for about 10 minutes to dry out a bit. Meanwhile, fill a large skillet with about an inch or two of canola oil and set over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, carefully drop in a few pieces of coated shrimp at a time. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a clean wire rack, set over a baking sheet, and continue frying the rest. Once all the shrimp has been fried, pop the baking sheet into the oven to keep warm while you proceed.
- Set a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat and lightly spray with cooking oil. Trim the ends off of the asparagus and then coat with the olive oil, ½ a teaspoon salt and ½ a teaspoon black pepper. Place the asparagus on the hot grill in a single layer and cook until slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Make sure to turn them often. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven along with the shrimp, to keep warm.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground sirloin, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Mix with your hands until evenly combined. Divide the meat mixture into 12 even balls and shape into 2-inch patties. Place the patties on the hot grill, a few at a time, and grill for about 5 minutes on the first side. Flip over and continue to cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, depending on how you like your meat cooked. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
- To assemble the sliders, warm the buns in the oven (if you wish) and then cut in half. Spread each half with the chipotle mayo, and top the bottom buns with a few asparagus pieces (cut the asparagus in half to make it easier), a grilled beef patty, one or two pieces of fried shrimp, and a few slices of shallot. Replace with the top bun and skewer with a long toothpick to hold in place. Serve immediately. Enjoy!