It seems as if there are a gazillion types of sliders these day. Case in point - at the official opening of our new office last night the fancy dress waiter was bring around platters of pork belly, smoked apple sauce, and crunchy carrot sliders. The 12 I ate were OK. They were NOT sliders.
In my mind a slider is any sort of ground meat patty, grilled, and tossed on a wee bun. True purists would argue with this - a slider is nothing but ground beef. Others can fight that out.
These so-called Italian Meatball Sliders weren't what I would call sliders at all, however they were insanely delicious. So delicious that I, who usually gets stuck in semantics, am willing to let the foolish name go and say MAKE THESE!
Italian Meatball Sliders
panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces ground sirloin
1 large egg
1 garlic clove, minced
12 water rolls, halved lengthwise
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut crosswise into 12 thin slices
1 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's)
12 fresh basil leaves (optional)
Preheat broiler to high. (NOTE - we ignored the meatball cooking steps. Instead I grilled 'em)
Gently combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, being careful not to overmix. Divide beef mixture into 24 equal portions; gently shape each portion into a meatball (do not pack). Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a heavy baking sheet; broil 30 seconds or until very lightly toasted. Remove roll tops from pan.
Arrange meatballs on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 3 minutes or until browned. Turn meatballs over; broil 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Arrange 2 meatballs on bottom half of each roll; top each slider with 1 cheese slice. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.
Place marinara sauce in a microwave-safe dish; cover and microwave at HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring once. Place two sliders on each of 6 plates; spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce over each sandwich. Top each slider with 1 basil leaf, if desired, and 1 bun top.