My 4-year old son isn’t a picky eater, but he does have a few odd food aversions that boggle my mind a bit.
MASHED POTATOES MAKE HIM GAG. (What??) It’s not my mashed potatoes. Really. They’re one of my specialties: whipped, skins on, no skins, hand mashed, cheesy, creamy – so many different, savory ways to prepare them. All gag-worthy to my son, whose issue seems to be related more to texture, than to the taste, of potatoes (he can kill some French fries or roasted potatoes).
GRILLED SHRIMP MAY AS WELL BE LIVER. (Come again??) My 8-year old could inhale a plateful of shrimp if given the option. My son, however, only stomachs the “one bite you have to eat,” while his face is contorted in a grimace, complete with gags. We have a rule, you see. There’s no declaring, “I hate [fill in the food]!” and then refusing to eat dinner. Our rule is that you must at least try one bite of everything. And even though my kids don’t always love things on the first, second or fifth try, most of the time they come around. Those little taste buds just take a while.
CHEESE ON A BURGER? NO WAY! (Seriously.) For a kid who eats string cheese like it’s going outta style, I’m always surprised when he only wants a plain burger. No cheese, no bun. I’m not going to force cheese on the boy, but the rest of us are kinda cheeseburger fanatics, and this no melty, gooey, cheesiness on a burger thing is, well, odd.
My son, however, does like cheese inside his burger. Who wouldn’t like that?
Here’s how I make our cheese stuffed sliders:
I mix ground beef, chopped spinach and parsley, dry onion soup mix, salt, pepper and one egg together (with my hands!) in a large bowl.
See? There’s the egg. Perspective is everything.
Then I pressed out slider-sized patties, about the look of a golf ball before flattening. My pound of ground beef made six sliders with a little left over to top the patties.
Half a piece of white American cheese goes on each patty. I said “white” specifically because we’re trying to stay away from yellow dyes in our food, and the white American cheese doesn’t use any.
The rest of the ground beef mixture was pressed onto each of the six patties, sealing in the cheese. Then they were seared in a hot grill pan for a few minutes, flipped, and then seared on the other for a few more minutes.
And as if THAT wasn’t enough cheese, all but one of the sliders was topped with another slice of white American. The middle one there? That’s my 4-year old’s, sans cheese (except for the gooey center).
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 packet dry onion soup mix
- ¼ cup fresh spinach, chopped
- ⅛ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 slices white American cheese (plus more if you want cheese on top)
- 6 slider-sized rolls
- Use your hands to combine the beef, egg, onion soup mix, spinach, parsley, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
- Make six small patties about 3" in diameter with about ¾ of the beef mixture.
- Place ½ slice of American cheese in the center of each patty. It works best to make the shape squarish so it fits neatly in the middle.
- Use the remaining beef mixture to top the slider patties, and then gently press each to seal the cheese into the middle.
- Place a grill pan over medium-high heat, and let it warm for a couple minutes.
- Once it's hot, sear the cheese stuffed sliders on one side for 4 minutes. Flip the sliders, and then continue cooking them for another 4 minutes. (If you want to top them with cheese, you'll want to add it just after the flip.)
- Serve the cheese stuffed sliders on buns with ketchup, mayonnaise, fresh spinach and tomatoes.