Monday, October 31, 2011

Beef Sliders with Roasted Pepper and Smoked Paprika AoliBeef Sliders with Roasted Pepper and Smoked Paprika Aoli

This tiny burger is awesome! It is flavor packed causing a burst in your taste buds! Make this for your family or for a party appetizer-make a lot for they will go in a jiffy!

In this recipe I have used a product called Smoked Paprika found in any grocery store (in the baking isle near the spices). I love this product for it adds a smokey BBQ flavor without having to even cook on the grill. It has a wonderful aroma and gives this burger a unique flare.

Smoked Paprika gives the Aioli a robust flavor and is the perfect sauce for this juicy slider. Aioli resembles a mayo (in my case I took a shortcut and used mayo in this recipe) but is usually made in French cuisine by blending egg yolk, olive oil and lemon. Aioli has a wonderful creamy texture and makes for a great sauce or in this case a mayo substitute.

Beef Sliders with Roasted Pepper and Smoked Paprika Aoli

Slider patties on a hot, oiled grill pan.

Try to just flip the patties once to allow for nice grill marks.

Nice and juicy!

Smoked Paprika Aioli.

Assembly: Slider, Smoked Paprika Aioli, Roasted Red Pepper

Final Assembly

Ready to dig in!

Beef Sliders with Roasted Pepper and
Smoked Paprika Aioli
Author: Brenna Bowers
Serving: 6 sliders

6 mini slider buns from Trader Joes
1 pound ground beef (lean, less than 90 percent fat)
dash of salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika, divided
¼ cup mayo
1 jar Roasted Red Pepper, drained (6 slices needed)
6 sliced Gruyère cheese

Preheat the grill/grill pan to medium-high heat (or oven to 400 degrees F).

In a small bowl, mix ground beef, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika with your hands. Once the ground beef is evenly mixed, portion into 6 patties. Form the patties between your hands, applying pressure so it will not fall apart on the grill. Place the patties on an oiled, hot grill and cook on either side for about 3-5 minutes. Check that the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees (F) for medium rare. Set aside for assembly.

To make the Smoked Paprika Aioli, in a small bowl, combine mayo and the rest of the 2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika.

Slice mini slider buns in half. Spread a generous amount of Smoked Paprika Aioli on each bun and top with one slice of Roasted Red Pepper, one slice of Gruyere and a slider patty.

Serve hot and enjoy!!!!

Ahead of time:
Grill the patties ahead of time to “rare” and place into the freezer. Prepare the rest of the ingredients and place into the fridge (up to 3 days before the party).  
When ready to serve, bake the patties for about 7 minutes in a 350 degree (F) oven to heat them back up. Continue assembly as stated above.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mini Caprese Pizza Bite Appetizer...

This is the perfect holiday appetizer to be made ahead of time for your guests. Simply prepare the Mini Caprese Pizza Bites ahead of your event and bake them off when your guest arrive. This makes having house guests enjoyable.

Caprese is the Italian word depicting a simple salad made with mozzarella, tomato and basil. 

A delicious popable appetizer, bet you can't just eat one!

It is as easy as it looks to assemble, give it a try!

Mini Caprese Pizza Bites
A great appetizer for party guests
Author: Brenna Bowers
Servings: about 15-20 bite size appetizers


1 sheet Puff pastry, thawed yet still chilled in the fridge
½ cup pizza sauce/pasta sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
3 leaves fresh basil, torn into pieces
1 small ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

Baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a Silpat (Tip 1))

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

2) Thaw the puff pastry sheet on the counter (about 2 hours) and using a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry to be slightly thinner (it should add about 1 inch all the way around the perimeter). With a circular cookie cutter, cut out small circles and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Prick well with a fork (Tip 2)!

3)In a small bowl, combine pizza sauce, olive oil, and torn fresh basil. Spoon a small spoonful of sauce (making sure to leave the edges free of sauce, only saucing the middle of the circles, Tip 3). 

4) Cut mozzarella in chucks and place 2-3 pieces on each pizza circle (do not overdo the toppings for you do not want it to ooze everywhere).

5) Place the prepared Caprese Pizza Bites in the fridge until it is chilled then place it right into the hot oven (Tip 4).

6)Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 7-8 minutes. Serve hot.

To be made AHEAD:
Follow the directions above through step  4. Place them in a single layer into an airtight container and put in the fridge (if baking the day of) or into the freezer (if baking 2-10 days later). Follow the directions above for proper baking directions but if the product is coming from the freezer, bake 2-3  minutes longer.

Tip 1: Silpat is one of my favorite baking tools! If a recipe calls for you to grease your cookie sheet, don't bother doing so! No oil is needed, instead just put down the Silpat and carry on with your baking. Nothing will stick to it! 

Tip 2: Pricking the dough with a fork is an important step! If you do not puncture it well, small pockets of air will form causing it to bubble up during the baking process and cause uneven cooking.

Tip 3: Do not spread the sauce to the ends of the puff pastry. This causes them to look unappealing when they are baked and causes them to ooze and make a mess during the baking process.

Tip 4: Make sure your puff pastry is kept at refrigerator temperature. If it is not, it will not bake properly nor will it “puff” in the oven.