Monday, May 26, 2014

Celebrate Summer with Tabasco SWEET & Spicy...Featuring Sweet & Spicy Sliders

Happy Memorial Day...a day that we pause to remember those in our military who sacrificed for the freedoms that we enjoy here in America. I live in San Antonio, which is home to a number of military bases. I want to extend a huge heartfelt thank you to all of the veterans and active-duty military (and their families) who read The Weekend Gourmet!! Memorial Day is also the unofficial official start of Summer, when we relax around the grill and spend time with our family and friends...and enjoy great food and drinks!
The kind folks at Tabasco recently sent me a sampler of their flavored hot sauces to create a perfect Summer meal for my readers. Original Red Tabasco has been a staple condiment in my kitchen for years -- we always have at least one bottle in our cupboard. Tabasco has been produced by the McIlhenny Family on Avery Island in Louisiana since 1868. We use this tart and spicy sauce to add zip and heat to our meals. My sampler had seven different Tabasco sauces to choose from, so it was hard to pick just one to spotlight. The handy metal caddy contained Original Red, Chipotle, Green Jalapeno, Habanero, Garlic Pepper, Buffalo, and Sweet & Spicy. The Garlic Pepper is one of our favorites -- especially sprinkled on top of pizza -- and the Green Jalapeno adds a nice kick to my guacamole and pico de gallo. We flipped when we tried the SWEET & Spicy -- slightly thicker than traditional Tabasco, it's a perfect combination of spicy and sweet. I just knew that I had to create an original recipe spotlighting this unique sauce!

I created a Sweet & Spicy Slider recipe that's bursting with sweet heat. I used Tabasco's addictive SWEET & Spicy sauce to flavor the burger patties, the sauteed sweet onions that top the patties, and in the flavorful spread that's slathered on the buns. The flavorful slider patties are made from a combination of lean ground turkey and Mexican chorizo sausage and seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, and cilantro. The patties are grilled, topped with provolone and caramelized sweet onions, and served on slider rolls that are slathered with a creamy sauce. The sliders can be grilled outdoors on the grill, but they can be also be cooked indoors on a cast-iron grill pan if the weather's not cooperating. No matter how you grill the slider patties, kids of all ages will go nuts for these sliders. They have a nice kick, but the heat is nicely tempered by the sweetness of the SWEET & Spicy Sauce. 

Sweet & Spicy Sliders
 a Weekend Gourmet Original

Ingredients (makes 8 sliders):
  • 8 slider buns (NOTE: I used potato bread buns)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • Tortilla chips (on the side)
  • Purchased mango pico de gallo (on the side)
For the slider patties:
  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb. ground Mexican chorizo
  • 1 tbs. Tabasco Sweet & Spicy 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 tbs. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
For the sauce:
  • 3/4 cup light mayonaise
  • 2 tbs. Tabasco Sweet & Spicy
  • 1 tbs. dill pickle relish 
For the sauteed onions:
  • 1 sweet onion, cut in half and sliced into crescents
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. Tabasco Sweet & Spicy
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Step 1: Add the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and stir until combined. Refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the sliders. NOTE: This step can be completed up to a day before to save time!
Step 2: Add the slider patty ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using a sturdy spatula or pristinely clean hands, combine the ingredients until well mixed. Form into 8 patties of equal size and set aside in the fridge. Add the sweet onions and 2 tbs. olive oil to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onions turn soft and start to caramelize -- about 15 minutes. Add the Tabasco Sweet & Spicy and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
Step 3: Heat an outdoor grill OR place a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Brush the grill with 1 tbs. olive oil and add the chilled slider patties. Lower heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes per side. The patties are a bit delicate, so use a sturdy spatula to carefully flip them over. Top the patties with half a slice of provolone cheese and cook until melted.
Step 4: To assemble the sliders, spread a tsp. of the creamy sauce on the top and bottom of the slider buns. Top with a slider patty and 1 tbs. of the caramelized sweet onions. Serve with tortilla chips and mango pico de gallo to complete the sweet heat flavor profile. If you can't locate pico de gallo at the supermarket, just buy regular and add half a diced mango before serving. 
These sliders may be smaller in size than a typical burger, but they pack a HUGE flavor punch! The Tabasco SWEET & Spicy gives every component of these sliders a sweet-spicy kick. The sauce is reminiscent of Thousand Island...but amped up...and the burger patty is perfectly spiced from the addition of chorizo to the lean ground turkey. I opted to use mild provolone cheese, but you could certainly use pepper jack to really amp up with spice level. These sliders are the perfect addition to any Summer cookouts you're planning in the coming months, so I hope you'll give them a try. 

One last thing...I really love how versatile the SWEET & Spicy Tabasco is! We love to dip spring rolls and chicken tenders in it, and I'm betting that it would be a perfect glaze for hot wings during football season! Visit the convenient Tabasco online Product Locator to see where you can purchase their SWEET & Spicy sauce near you. If it's not available at a store in your city, no can also purchase it direct from Tabasco online.

Disclosure: Tabasco sent me a sampler of their sauces to facilitate recipe creation. The recipe for Sweet & Spicy Sliders is an original recipe, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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