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Try This Smashed Chicken Meatball Sliders

There was a moment, a dozen years ago, when sliders on restaurant menus were all the rage. The precious little burgers (the traditional slider) and the smart ones like meatballs and donuts would swing on tiny buns with toppings applied with tweezers and unless you release your lower jaw to devour it (push?) your whole wobbly booty, it was also a bit messed up. So why am I channeling the year 2009? Sliders have had a Renaissance in my kitchen this spring because I finally realized that their size is perfect for small eaters and makes much more appetizing leftovers than, say, a cold hamburger with several bites removed dipped in a one-day bun.

A few months ago, I made sticky (delicious) Bbq chicken meatballs from Jessica Merchant and immediately felt like going back to Smashburger/Slider-style flavors for a midweek meal on a sunny spring day. First of all, we prepare a mixture of chicken meatballs, seasoned with green onions, garlic and smoked Paprika. While it cools down briefly, we make a quick buttermilk coleslaw, cut some pickles into slices, then if you are me (read: stubborn) and you don’t like most of the bottled barbecue Sauce, you make a quick version in the same pan where you will turn the meatballs into small sizzling Smashburgers. Together on a buttery toasted bun, this was one of our favorite family dishes this month and a rare hit with everyone. I should just stop cooking while I’m out front, right?

Smitten Kitchen Keepers is six months old today! I just noticed the date and I just can’t imagine that a book that included a tour of 32 events in 22 metropolitan areas, a book that so many of you still mark on photos of dishes that you cook daily, has only been around for 6 months.

I’m glad that in warmer weather you might be able to cook some of my summer favorites in the book: cornbread with zucchini and tomato butter, snow peas with Pecorino and walnuts, cucumber salad with garlic and dill yogurt, clam chowder with bacon croutons, lasagna with zucchini pesto and crispy shrimp), Raspberry crostata, strawberry summer cake (my birthday cake next month), Blondie Chipwiches (just in my freezer). I hope you like them as much as we do.

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