Meatball Sliders with Homemade Rolls
Hello and happy Spring, lovely readers! I know its been a little while since a new post, but now I’ve got three delicious ones lined up for ya!
Last week (for those of you who may not know me in real life) was my birthday. Yep, I’m crawling closer to 30 as each day goes by, and am now officially in my “late 20’s” (I’m 28). So of course, this was cause for celebration, as no matter how old I am I always turn into a 12 year old and want to go all out for my own birthday (see, last year’s blue-themed fiesta). This year I threw a party at my house, and decided to limit myself to only 3 cooking projects. I can easily go overboard with party food menus, as I’m sure you fellow foodies can understand, but when throwing a party also entails cleaning, food shopping, outfit-choosing, decorating, cleaning again, (etc etc), take it from me- you gotta draw the line somewhere and just put out some cheese puffs and chex mix!
Anyway, the three things I made were meatball sliders with homemade buns, kicked-up Sriracha style deviled eggs, and chocolate + red wine cupcakes. I’ve decided to split them into three posts, for ease of digestion (no pun intended!), so without further ado, below is the recipe for my sliders. The meatballs were from a recipe I’ve posted before (just mini-fied) as well as the tomato sauce. So sure, I guess you could say I’m starting with the easiest and least writing-involved post haha… oh well, I’m a busy lady!
1. Make the rolls. I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and just made them smaller (about 30 buns)
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Sesame seeds (optional)
In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.
Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 30 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.
Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 10-13 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
I made these in advance and froze them. If doing this, just make sure the rolls cool completely, then slice them and transfer to a freezer bag, suck out as much air as you can, and freeze until ready to use. Defrost on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
2. Make the meatballs and sauce from this recipe, but instead of 6 large meatballs, roll the mix into about 30 mini ones-about the size of golf balls. Follow the recipe as usual, cooking the meatballs in the microwave first, but cutting the cook time down to about 2 minutes per side, and then drop ’em all in the sauce to continue simmering for at least an hour. I made these in advance as well, and froze them all in a large Tupperware. When ready to use, just thaw completely and re-heat on the stove top.
3. Assemble your sliders. You will need your defrosted rolls, one chunk of mozzarella cheese, sliced into bun-sized pieces, and your re-heated meatballs + sauce. Arrange your rolls on a cooking sheet and place a piece of cheese on each one. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted. Carefully scoop one meatball on each roll and dab with a little extra sauce. Place top bun on top and secure with a toothpick or skewer. Serve warm and enjoy!!