Recipes : Anytime Antojos
It was my friend Tamara´s birthday party. Her husband, Sean, an American who speaks and acts like a Mexico City native (says a Mexico City native), made the dinner for the 40+ guests. The guests were drinking, eating and laughing until their stomachs were hurting, usual for their home. Sean came up to me when he saw me walk in, gave me a plate, placed two of these sliders on and said, “You are going to like these.”
I ate one. YUM.
I said, “There’s chipotle in them!”
I ate two. OMG.
I said, “I can take that platter”, and ate the remaining four. Of course, he was grilling some more.
No, I didn’t even try his Asian tuna sliders. No, I didn’t try his regular cheeseburger sliders. No, of course, I didn’t try his vegetarian sliders. All I wanted were these Chipotle Pork Sliders. I was hooked.
After I had my fill, I told Sean I had to post his recipe on my blog, as I was sure you all would love them just like I did. He obliged, and I tested his recipe many times giving it a few tweaks (hey, you know, I can’t help myself). I added a bit of onion, garlic and oregano to the meat mix and more chipotle (come on Sean, you talk like a Mexican!). I took some of the mayo out of the avocado spread and added the refreshing chives.
It’s what happens when you share recipes: they’re not yours anymore. They’re under the domain of the recipients who can do whatever they want with them. You killed yourself to make the best-ever sandwich and you hate mustard? Well, the next person printing your recipe may think all the sandwich needs is a little, or a lot of, mustard. I know this to be true, for I’ve heard from many of you wonderful personal touches and spins on my recipes through the comments on this blog. That’s the beauty of passing down recipes!
If you don’t go head over heels over these sliders, tweak them, and go ahead, make them your very own. The underlying notes for these sliders, for me, are: meat, especially pork, and chipotle are heavenly together; the melted cheese adds a rich welcome layer (all of my boys thought so too), and the avocado spread brings in a creaminess and freshness to everything inside that soft bun, it brightens it up (one of my beastly beasts skipped the avocado part, see? oh well..).
Sean uses brioche buns, which have a light sweetness and a soft and fluffy bite. If you find them, great! If you don’t, any mini hamburger buns work just fine. And then again, you may decide to turn these sliders into jumbo size burgers.
Want to go crazy? Top with crumbles of chorizo!
2 pounds ground pork
2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed in garlic press
3 tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and finely chopped, more to taste
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, to grease the grill
1 large Hass avocado, halved, pit removed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
8 slices Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese
16 mini brioche or mini hamburger buns
Prepare your grill or grill pan over medium heat. While it heats, in a large mixing bowl mix the pork with the onion, garlic, adobo sauce, chipotle chile in adobo sauce, oregano, salt and pepper until well combined. With your hands (I find it helpful if hands are wet), make 16 round patties, about 3/4-inch thick, and place them on a baking sheet or platter.
In a medium-mixing bowl, place the avocado pulp and mash with a fork until smooth. Combine with the mayonnaise, lime juice, chives and salt, blend well. Set aside.
Once the grill or grill pan is hot, brush generously with olive oil. Place the patties on the grill and flip after 3 to 4 minutes. If adding cheese, place a thin slice of cheese on the already grilled side of the patties. Cook for another 4 minutes.
A couple minutes before the patties are ready, place the opened hamburger buns on the upper part of the grill (or after you remove the patties, will be fine too!), and let them warm up.
Slather a generous tablespoon or so of the avocado spread on the bottom bun, place a patty on top, and put on the top part of the bun. Eat them while hot!
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