Mini Mushroom Sliders

19 Feb

Once a month two of my good friends, Tania and Willy, and I try and get together for dinner.  Faced with busy schedules of travelling, work, and life in general, we figure if we book one night a month that’s one time we’re guaranteed to see each other and catch up.  This month was my turn to host dinner, and it was also Willy’s birthday.

In order to properly celebrate, we extended the invitation beyond the three of us to a few more of our friends for a night of good food, good wine and good company.  Since I got to host I got to take care of the food portion and boy did I come up with a killer appetizer style menu featuring these bad boys:

Jumping on the “sliders” bandwagon, I put a vegetarian spin on them using cremini mushrooms.  Taking the concept one step further, I decided to offer two different flavours.

The first one featured Friday’s pesto along with a red pepper aioli and mushrooms marinated with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

The second one took a more traditional burger approach with smoky bbq sauce, balsamic-caramelized onions and sharp white cheddar.

When on the hunt for “slider buns”, in which they were nowhere to be found in two bakeries and a grocery store, I found these mini pita breads and they turned out to be the perfect solution.   If you do manage to find slider buns feel free to use those, but I found the pita’s to give the perfect bread : mushroom ratio.

Let’s just say these did not last very long and Dustin has since requested I make them again. The next time you host a party, I recommend you make these.  They are quite the showstoppers.

Mini Mushroom Sliders

16 medium cremini mushrooms

¼ c. olive oil

2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2-3 tbsp bbq sauce

¼ c. pesto

¼ c. red pepper aioli (recipe below)

16 thin slices of sharp white cheddar

¼ c. caramelized onions (recipe below)

16 mini pitas

Directions

Preheat your broiler

Clean and stem mushrooms and place on a rack over a cookie sheet.  Brush tops and bottoms of mushrooms with olive oil and then coat 8 of the mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and the other 8 with bbq sauce.

Place mushrooms into broiler and broil for 5 minutes, flip, and then broil for another 3-5 minutes until tender.

Open up the pitas and spread 8 halves with pesto, the other halves with red pepper aioli.  Divide the caramelized onions among the remaining 8 halves.

Place the bbq glazed mushrooms on the halves with the onions, top with sharp cheddar.  Place the balsamic glazed mushrooms on the pesto/aioli pita halves.

Serve and enjoy

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

½ roasted red pepper

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 clove of garlic

½ c. olive oil

In a blender, combine egg yolk, garlic, and vinegar, blend until smooth.  With the blender still running, slowly pour in olive oil and allow mixture to emulsify.  Once it has reached a thick mayonnaise consistency, pop in the red pepper.

Balsamic Caramelized Onions

1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp sea salt

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat oil to medium heat in a large skillet, add in onions and salt.  Stir until softened then lower heat and continue to cook until the onions have reduced to more than half and are a caramel colour, approx 15-20 minutes.  Pour in balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes.

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