At my house we tend to settle for less than perfect. Peeling paint in the bathroom? Sure. Bare light bulb in the bedroom? Why not. Check Engine light coming on? What else is new. So when Martha’s recipe for Meatball Parmigiana Sliders called for brioche rolls, we searched for them at the last minute, at one location, shrugged and bought regular old white rolls. We could have made them from scratch, but who wants fancy brioche rolls on poker night anyway? Not us.
Evidently at Martha’s house, a meatball consists of ground beef, pork and veal. A few thoughts on this:
1.) Veal is for losers.
2.) We already were using pork in a different recipe.
3.) Spending a lot of money on meatballs is not very Marthable.
So our meatballs were all-beef. But I did soak the white bread filler in heavy cream, as opposed to that sissy whole milk for which the recipe called. Heavy cream is the new veal!! And don’t tell my mother-in-law, but I used store-bought marinara sauce. (We had house guests, okay? There was no time!)
All in all, these were easy and delicious, even with their low-budget rolls.
What did not turn out well were Martha’s vegetarian sliders. I’m not sure if that’s because of flaws in the recipe or flaws in our execution of it. We got lazy on some ingredients, for instance, (white rice instead of basmati: canned beans as opposed to cooking dry ones), and some I intentionally skipped (shredded broccoli), while others I forgot altogether (cilantro).
They just didn’t hang together well and were a tad bland. We suspect that the white rice was the culprit, and maybe fresh-cooked beans would have had a better texture? I don’t know, but I plan to try these again and experiment a bit.
Frying these was like trying to fry a ball of oatmeal raisin cookie dough. They tasted okay – the ones that weren’t burnt – but needed a kick, so James drew upon his extensive selection of weird hot sauces and pastes and came up with a variation of Martha’s chili mayonnaise for garnish. And we skipped the mango slice entirely.
Fortunately, our poker night friends are super polite and powered through the good, the bad and the slightly charred like the sports that they are. They even let us play basketball in the house, taking game night to the next level.
Verdict: Marthable, with some modifications.