Once upon a time, in a not so far away land (right here), there lived a woman named Jenn. This Jenn was not micromanaged by a Maxwell, and not beholden to a tiny tyrant. A pretty adorable tyrant (one of the sources of this miniature person's power, the other stemming from his marvelous ability to throw a tantrum), but a tyrant nonetheless.
This Jenn had the ability, the freedom, to use a fork instead of a spoon, whenever she pleased! If she felt the urge to draw, which was well, admittedly seldom, she did not have to draw only what the small tyrant told her to draw. She could draw all the things she wanted without argument. She did not have to hug a toy bus if she didn't want to. She did not have to explain to this tyrant why she was the one feeding the cats and not Seth.
Obviously, there was a regime change.
And like all political leaders, Max is always on the lookout for acquiring more power. He somehow managed to get all seven adults who were congregating at my grandmother's house corralled in her basement. Like cattle. All there to be of a source of entertainment as well as an audience to/for the tiny tyrant.
Loyalty to the little master means a promotion to his second-in-command. The person who helps him use the toilet. The person who hands him a tissue. These are the honors one can earn, if they are lucky and faithful.
But one area in which I refuse to cede power to the offspring is in the kitchen. He can file a request, but that is as far as it goes.
And in that kitchen, the one free of tyranny, I made bison sliders. Small patties of meat, flavored with Herbes de Provence and melted with shaved Parmesan, topped with browned cremini mushrooms scented with a bit of thyme, as well as an aioli mixed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Butter lettuce for a bit of green, a bit of crunch. and finally, crucially, King's Hawaiian Sweet Roll ® holds the entire thing together... a sweet, soft, utterly delicious King's Hawaiian Sweet Roll ®. As an aside, I seriously just eat these rolls right from the package, nothing added, a treat that not only makes me happy, but makes Max and our puff cat happy as well.
These sliders were free of the influence of tiny tot hands. Free of his micromanaging and quite frankly, bossy ways. These were a creation born under the hand of liberty.
For the maple balsamic aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
kosher salt, to taste
For the browned mushrooms:
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 sprig of thyme leaves
pinch kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
splash Worcestershire sauce
For the bison sliders:
16 ounces bison meat
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Parmesan cheese, shaved
King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls ®
To make the maple balsamic aioli: Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
To make the mushrooms: Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Once the butter has melted and the bubbles in the mixture have started to subside, add the mushrooms and thyme leaves . Stir continuously, allowing the mushrooms to absorb the butter and oil mixture. After a few minutes, the mushrooms will brown. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and add a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
To make the bison patties: In a large bowl, mix together the bison, ground dried mushrooms, Herbes de Provence, Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into small patties. I get about 10-12 patties from the mixture.
To make the burgers: Heat canola oil over high heat in a cast iron skillet. Add the patties. Brown one side (about 3 minutes or so). Flip the burgers over and add a Parmesan cheese slice to each. Keep the heat on high to brown the bottoms. Cover skillet with a baking sheet or lid and turn the heat to low to finish cooking the bison and to melt the cheese. Once the burgers are fully cooked and the cheese has melted, remove from pan.
To assemble the sliders: Place butter lettuce and a cooked bison patty on each King's Hawaiian Sweet Roll ®. Top with some mushrooms and the aioli.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of King's Hawaiian®. The opinions and text are all mine.