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MARDI GRAS SLIDERS W/BACON-MANGO JAMBOREE & ROASTED GARLIC & CHIPOTLE AIOLI

I love the festive nature of Mardi Gras and this Slider recipe is a reflection of what I consider to be a "festive" food combination! Borrowing from the Cajun style, I've added my own twist to create not only BBQ flavors inside the burger, but my personal favorite food combinations in the Aioli and the special Bacon-Mango Jam. The zesty, sweet and peppery arugula could be the perfect description for the Mardi Gras atmosphere! These Sliders have it all... a little sweet… a little heat… the perfect party for your mouth. Let the parades begin!!!

Ingredients 

2 heads garlic, roasted, divided
1/2 teaspoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

ROASTED GARLIC & CHIPOTLE AIOLI
1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
2 tablespoons rough-chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

BACON-MANGO JAMBOREE
6 thick cut slices applewood smoked bacon, diced
1 large sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup high-quality aged Colavita Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons coarse ground mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons prepared sweet mango chutney
4 fresh leaves basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper

PATTIES
2 pounds premium ground beef, organic preferred (20 percent fat)
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons high-quality ketchup
1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
12 King's Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls, split
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried

Instructions 

Preheat gas grill to medium-high heat. Chill the ground beef and a large stainless steel bowl until needed. Slice off the pointed tops of the two garlic heads to expose all garlic cloves. Set each head onto a small piece of Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil, about 6 inch square, and drizzle each with 1/4 teaspoon oil and sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt. Gather the foil around the garlic and close at the top and place each garlic bundle onto the uppermost warming rack of the grill and remove them after 30 minutes. If grill has no warming rack, turn off 1 grill burner and place there to cook over indirect heat.

For the Aioli, whisk the mayonnaise and the Tabasco Chipotle Sauce together, then stir in the cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins from 1 head of roasted garlic, mix, cover and chill until needed.

To make the Bacon-Mango Jamboree, place a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the grill and brown the bacon until just becoming crisp. Add onion, vinegar, Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 tablespoons mustard, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, mango chutney, basil, red cayenne pepper. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins from 1 head of roasted garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

To make the patties, place ground beef into the large chilled bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil, the ketchup, 1 tablespoon mustard, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, worcestershire, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Mix well using a large mixing spoon taking care not to compact the meat, and divide into 12 equal portions, forming uniform sized and thickness patties, slightly indenting the center of each.

Use tongs to dip several folded-up paper towels into the vegetable oil and wipe over the grill grates. Grill the burgers 3-4 minutes on each side for medium, turning only once. Mix the cheeses together and place a mound onto the top of each burger during the last minute of cooking and close the grill cover. Remove burgers to a work surface and cover loosely with a Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil tent and rest for 5 minutes. Place rolls on the grill, cut sides down, and lightly toast.

To assemble, spread a spoonful of aioli onto the cut sides of the roll tops and bottoms. Divide the arugula equally onto each roll bottom, then a patty with melted cheese, a generous dollop of the Bacon-Mango Jamboree on top of each patty and then the roll tops. Skewer each slider with a plain, wooden skewer and serve.

Comments 

With an abundance of heat coming from the Chipotle Aioli and the Bacon-Mango Jam and the peppery edge the arugula gives along with the sharpness of the cheese, the Hawaiian rolls are the perfect holder for these little gems giving a finishing touch of sweetness that just balances the whole experience. I absolutely love this mini-burger and I think you will too!