I’m not sure if I have mentioned before that I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago (yes, that gets capital letters… ). I have been here in Kentucky since 1988 (Sobs as I realize I have lived here longer than some of my readers have been alive) but I am originally a city girl.
Everyone has heard of White Castle right? If you haven’t you either live outside the United States or have been here but need to periodically move away from the rock you live under. They originated right in the Midwest so I hold a rather possessive interest in them . I loved them as a kid and I still love them. I was thrilled beyond sanity (not that doing something to take me past the point of sanity is difficult) when they finally opened a store not far from me. Ok, so it’s 30 miles but when you live in the sticks, near and far become very relative terms. I don’t get them often but oh my do I love those greasy little bite sized pieces of oniony heaven.
Being from the Midwest (Chicago in case I didn’t say that loud enough earlier and no, I’ve never been involved in a drive by. You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked that), I find myself getting mildly annoyed when I hear every sort of mini burger one could think of (most quite yummy but that’s neither here nor there) being called sliders. THEY AREN’T SLIDERS! THEY AREN’T THEY AREN’T THEY AREN’T!!! Ok, that’s out of my system now. However, “Sliders” can only be bought at White Castle and even then, one doesn’t go in and place an order saying “I want 315 sliders”. Do that and the employees and other customers will know you spend far too much time paying attention to weird media sources. They are just hamburgers… or maybe “White Castles” if you are in the middle of Chicago ordering them. But the mini, small, tiny, minute, teenie, call them what you will, burgers that get made at home are not sliders. Shhh…don’t argue. They aren’t. Just trust me.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious and fun as hell to eat though. So make a big batch of these mini burgers ( Did you notice I didn’t call them sliders? Did ya see? Huh huh huh?) cover them with the tangy sweet onion relish and slather some extra cheese and the Cajun mayo and eat until you burst. Since these are mini, they have no calories. You knew that right? Small means no calories. The calories dissolve before they get to your stomach. Just a little FYI for you there.
CHEESY CHIPOTLE MINI BURGERS WITH AN ONION RELISH
A SPICY CAJUN MAYO
- For the burgers-
- 3 pounds ground chuck
- 1/2 of a 7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 12 ounces shredded Colby jack cheese (sub your favorite if Colby jack doesn’t do it for you)
- 2 cloves minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 12 packs of mini burger buns
- For the onion relish-
- 3 large onions, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- For the spicy Cajun mayo-
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons salt free cajun seasoning (if you only have salted, be more careful on amounts and taste as you go so it doesn’t end up over salted)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- salt to taste if using the salt free seasoning
- For the mayo, mix all the ingredients together and then refrigerate until serving time. See how easy that was?
- For the relish, add the olive oil and sliced onions to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Turn heat down to low (about 3 on an electric stove) and cover the pan, Stirring occasionally, cook the onions until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and brown sugar. Stir well and cook over medium heat until the vinegar is totally absorbed, about five minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
- For the burgers, mix all the burger ingredients together. Don’t over work it; just mix until combined. Shape the meat into 24 small burgers. Cook via your favorite method. I used my George Foreman grill. If you’re going to use a regular grill, I highly suggest using one of those wire grill pans that holds small things unless you LIKE digging through the coals for your food