Smoked Cheddar Sliders with Apricot Chutney

Note: This recipe can be as ambitious as you want; for a more spontaneous meal, use purchased buns and chutney. No judging!

Smoked maple cheddar slider assembly

1lb ground beef (makes 6 patties)
1/4 lb Grafton maple smoked cheddar, sliced thick
1 small red onion, sliced
Leaf lettuce
Apricot chutney
6 slider buns, cut in half horizontally

Divide the ground beef into 6 equal portions and form into patties. Chill the patties for at least 15 minutes before you cook them. Prepare your grill or grill pan to high heat. Just before you place the patties on the grill season them with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 2-3 minutes, then flip the burgers and add the cheddar the the cooked side that is now facing up. Cover the grill and cook the burgers for another 2-3 minutes. Take the burgers off the grill and set them near the rest of your ingredients so that you can easily assemble the sliders.

On the bottom half of the bun, place a tablespoon of chutney, followed by the cooked burger, red onion, and lettuce. Top with the other half of the bun and serve.

Homemade Slider Buns

1 1/2c water
2 1/2t instant yeast
1T sugar
5c all purpose flour
1 3/4c whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1T sunflower oil
1T salt

Start by making the dough. In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for one minute, then add both flours, eggs, oil, and salt. Mix with your hands or using your dough hook attachment until you cannot see any dry flour. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Then, knead dough until it is smooth and elastic or for about 5 minutes with your stand mixer. Then, transfer your dough into an oiled bowl. Keep it covered and let it rise until double, about 2 hours. Prepare two parchment lined baking pans and set them aside.

When the dough has sufficiently risen, place it on a floured surface and make 24 dough balls the size of large walnuts by pulling the dough edges towards the center so that the balls are tight. Place 12 buns evenly spaced onto each prepared tray. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes. Then, with a wet hand gently flatten each bun. Cover, let rise until just under double, about 45 minutes. Fifteen minutes before you are ready to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes or until golden all over. Let them cool before slicing.

Apricot Chutney

8oz dried apricots, sliced
2t brown mustard seeds
1T sunflower oil
2 fresh apricots, diced
1/4c red onion, diced
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1t salt
Water as needed

Place the dried apricots and mustard seeds in a heat safe bowl. Pour just enough boiling water over the dried apricot mixture to barely cover, set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice onion and fresh apricots. When the dried apricot mixture is plumped, pour the entire contents into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until it is finely minced, but not smooth. Leave some texture. Set aside.

To finish making the chutney, set a skillet on the stove at medium heat. Once the pan is preheated, add the oil. Then, add the onion and fresh apricots. Sprinkle it with salt and stir the mixture. Cook until the onions soften, do not let the mixture brown. Once it is soft, add the dried apricot mixture and vinegar. If it is too thick, add more water as needed to make spreadable, but hold its shape.

Remove from heat and let cool. Keep it in an airtight container for about a week. Makes about two cups.