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Upscale sliders

Meatball mixture kicks your grilled burger up a notch

By Diane Rossen Worthington

Tribune Media Services

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Try these upscale sliders on your grill instead of the usual burger.

In their book, "Stonewall Kitchen Grilling," authors Jonathan King, Jim Stott and Kathy Gunst use a meatball mixture in this recipe for patties that are grilled and served on crunchy toasted slices of French bread. The sandwiches are spread with a spicy tomato ketchup, relish or chutney.

The term slider comes from the famous White Castle burger chain, the first of which opened in Kansas in 1921. Originally called "Slyders," the miniature burgers were cooked on top of a bed of onions and then slid into soft rolls.

The simple meatballs of this recipe combine ground meat, grated Parmesan, fresh sage, egg and panko breadcrumbs.

The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to suit a barbecue of any size. Present them on a large platter, and serve with a large green salad, coleslaw or potato salad. What a perfect way to get ready for summer.

Meatball sliders

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Servings: 12 sliders

Ingredients:
1 pound ground round or sirloin
1 large egg
2/3 cup panko or regular dried breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
12 slices French bread, 3/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup spicy ketchup or tomato chutney

1 Combine the ground meat, egg, panko, Parmesan, sage, salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Work the meat to thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients; form into 2-inch patties. Place the bread slices on a plate; drizzle both sides with the oil.

2 Prepare a grill for direct, high heat. Grill sliders to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, and up to 5-6 minutes for well done. During the last minute, place the oiled bread on the grill; toast until golden brown, about 30 seconds per side.

Nutrition information
Per serving: 204 calories, 33% of calories from fat, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 44 mg cholesterol, 21 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 431 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.