Poker night, during which sliders were made and games were played

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.

I like how they indicate the quantity AND their intended use.

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!)

"I came down here to visit, not to work!"

...she said, as her husband took these amazing food photos. Thanks Lincecums!

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).

James did most of the heavy lifting on these.

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.

They look harmless but were a complete disaster in the pan.

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.

Slider casualties

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.

The chefs relax.

Verdict: Marthable, with some modifications.

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5 comments

  1. Beth · January 24, 2011

    As the only vegetarian in the group, I would like to disagree with Mrs. Bruno. I thought the sliders were amazing. However, not as amazing as a glow-in-the-dark basketball.

  2. Denny · January 24, 2011

    Mrs. Lincecum WOULD be the only person to wear a costume while making hamburgers. And look damn cute in it.

  3. Emily · January 25, 2011

    Although I don’t make eating veal a practice, I do know that you can buy the veal, pork, beef combo at Martin’s and I think it’s cheap. Just an FYI when you want to take those meatballs to the next level. I’m pretty sure Martha would agree that it makes up for the lack of brioche.

    • Lesley · January 26, 2011

      Thanks for the handy tip, Emily. I will investigate, and thanks for reading!

      PS: If Martha knew what goes on in my kitchen, she would claw her eyes out.

  4. Pingback: February What’s for Dinner (PART 2): Love is Both Messy and Delicious « Marthable

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