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01/04/2016

~ Steak, Habanero Cheddar & Chimichurri Sliders ~

IMG_0223Slider sandwiches and deviled eggs sort of have a lot in common:  They're all-occasion, crowd-pleasing feel-good, portable food.  Depending on what combination of ingredients you use to make them, and your presentation, you can serve them on a paper plate with a beer at tailgate or on a linen napkin with a cocktail at a back-tie event.  Put a slider on a plate next to a stuffed egg and you've turned two unrelated snacks into a small, well-balanced meal.  

200px-White_Castle_logo.svgStuffed eggs have been around since the days of the Roman Empire.  The American word slider, which has no known originator, started out less than one hundred years ago in reference to small, 2" square hamburgers, but now denotes any type of small three-or-four-bite sandwich.  

Trademarked "slyder" (not a typo) by White Castle in 1985 (who started out selling their small, steamed burgers for five cents back in 1921), their slyders have been named most influential burger of all time, and, slider sandwiches are now one of Americas favorite pub grub menu items.

Think big, eat small -- downsize a big-guy Gaucho sandwich!

IMG_0105A bit about chimichurri:  Back in the 16th Century there was a large influx of cattle into Argentina from Spain, which quickly made beef their country's main source of protein.  The Argentinean cowboys, or gauchos, who herded the cattle, came up with this flavorful, rustic blend of native herbs, spices and oil to top their cowboy-cooked steaks. Their bold, bright-green, herb-driven condiment, similar in appearance to Italian pesto (only made with parsley and/or cilantro, oregano, garlic and pepper), is super-easy to make.  You'll need:

6a0120a8551282970b017c3857ab10970b1-1 1/2 cups chimichurri sauce

To get my recipe for ~ Chimichurri: The Sauce Steak Can't Live Without ~, just click into Categories 8, 10, 13, 14 or 20.

 2, 12-ounce French batards*

*A shorter, plumper, slightly denser and softer version of the crackly and air-hole laced French baguette.

Trim the ends from each batard. IMG_0071Using a serrated bread knife, cut the remainder of the loaf into 14-16, 3/4"-thick even-sized slices.  Set 24 slices aside to make the sliders. Wrap the rest in plastic and reserve them for another use.

In your toaster, toast the 24 slices IMG_0079until nicely golden.  Arrange the IMG_0060toasted slices on a rack that has IMG_0073been placed in a large, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" parchment-lined baking pan.

Note:  Because eight of these IMG_0082hearty sliders will easily satisfy Joe and I for dinner tonight, I am demonstrating with eight, using a small 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pan. I'll make a fresh batch with my leftover ingredients for lunch tomorrow.  

Using the serrated bread knife, slice/shred/shave:

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, very thinly sliced (shaved)

IMG_0038Using a hand-held box grater, grate:

8  ounces habanero cheddar

Place the shredded lettuce and grated cheese in the refrigerator while broiling the steak according to the following directions.

IMG_00391  2-2 1/2-pound flank steak

3  tablespoons salted butter, thinly sliced

freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

~ Step 1.  Place the flank steak on an 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" disposable aluminum broiler pan.  Place butter pats over the top and season with IMG_0058salt and pepper.

IMG_0052~ Step 2. Place steak 6" underneath preheated broiler and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip steak over and season second side with salt and pepper (no butter).

~ Step 3.  Return steak to broiler and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 130-132 degrees.  

IMG_0125 IMG_0092Note:  In my oven under my broiler this takes another 8-10 minutes, and, this will result in a rare- medium-rare flank steak.  Rely on internal temperature, not time.

~ Step 4.  Remove from oven and allow steak to rest and cool slightly, about 15-20 minutes, prior to IMG_0142slicing.

~ Step 5.  Using a large chef's knife, slice the steak with the grain into three long lengths.  Holding the knife at a 30 degree angle, slice each length across the grain, as thinly as possible, into small strips.

Note:  Each 1/3 length of the broiled flank steak will yield enough meat to top 8 sliders.  I am refrigerating the uncut portion today and will slice it fresh to make my next batch of sliders for lunch tomorrow.

IMG_0166 IMG_0148~ Step 6. Evenly distribute the lettuce over the toasted bread, followed by a mound of sliced steak and grated cheddar.

IMG_0162~ Step 7. Place pan of sliders under IMG_0184preheated broiler until cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.

IMG_0182~ Step 8. Remove from oven, transfer to a IMG_0236serving dish and top each with a generous dollop of chimichurri.

Brawny enough for the big guys, dainty enough for the dames: 

IMG_0213Crunchy bread, crispy lettuce, succulent steak, spicy cheese & garlicy chimichurri!

IMG_0240Care for a chimichurri deviled egg to go with that slider?

IMG_0293Steak, Habanero Cheddar & Chimichurri Sliders:  Recipe yields 2 dozen appetizer-sized sandwiches.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; serrated bread knife; toaster; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; parchment paper; large cooling rack;  hand-held box grater; 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" disposable aluminum broiler pan; instant-read meat thermometer; chef's knife

IMG_0293Cook's Note:  There really is such a thing as a chimichurri deviled egg and they couldn't be easier to make. Because this bold-flavored sauce contains herbs, seasonings and oil, you don't need to add anything -- not even any mayonnaise.  

In the work bowl of a food processor, for every whole egg yolk, add 1 generous teaspoon of chimichurri sauce.  Process until smooth, taste and adjust for salt (if necessary), then, pipe into hard-cooked egg cavities. 

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)

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