Sausage & Veal Sliders with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Sometime last month, my cousin Merideth was throwing her father a 60th Surprise Birthday party.  A few members of the family were bringing some dishes of their own, and she had asked me to "cater" a small portion of it.  We decided on just three dishes:  Sausage Sliders with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, Arugula, and Smoked Mozzarella, Rosemary-Dusted Chicken Skewers with Roasted Vegetables and Basil, Chesapeake Deviled Eggs -- I'll post some of the other recipes later ;)

We had decided on 75 sliders, since there were going to be about 50 people coming and lots of other food options.  Just as I had suspected, the sliders were the crowd favorite! So, I decided to share the recipe with all of my readers so you can all be party pleasers, too!

What You'll Need:
2lb. Ground Sausage
2lb. Ground Veal
2 eggs
1/4 cup, chopped parsley, very fine
1 tbsp., minced garlic
1/4 cup breadcrumb
1/4 cup parmesan
Salt & Pepper
1 bag Arugula
1/4 cup Mayo
2 tbsp. chopped basil
2 tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers
3 tbsp. EVOO
Salt & Pepper
16 oz. Smoked Mozzarella - 16 slices
16 Slider-Sized Rolls

What You'll Need To Do:
Combine the first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. (Wait, don't taste!  It's raw beef, duh. A good rule of thumb is: after you have put everything together, make a tiny patty and cook it off.  Taste this patty before making all of them so you know how much more salt, pepper, cheese, parsely, etc. you might need to add before you go ahead and make all 16 of them!) Make sure mixture is fully mixed - everything folded together.  Divide ground meat into mini patties, it should make about 16.  I made 80 for Merideth's party and used 10 pounds of meat, so I figure, 2 pounds of meat should make 16.  Please feel free to comment if that isn't the case! ;)

For the roasted red pepper sauce, combine the mayo, basil, garlic, and roasted red peppers in a food processor.  Stream in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it becomes a creamy consistency.  Feel free to taste and add whatever spices need to be added for your palette.  Set aside.

Sear the sausage-veal patties in a large frying pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Cook through until the middle is no longer pink, about 5 minutes on one side, 3 on the other.  This cooking time depends on how thick you made your patties, but feel free to test one, first!  Place all patties on a large serving dish and top with 1-oz. slices of smoked mozzarella cheese.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest. (This "tent" also allows the cheese to melt over the patties.)

Assembly:  Pop the rolls in a 250-degree oven for about 10 minutes to let them get nice and toasty.  Slice rolls in half and slather the bottom half generously with your roasted red pepper sauce.  Atop that, stack your sausage-veal patty, and then finish with a few sprigs of the spicy arugula and the top of the bun.  If you really like the pepper sauce, go ahead and put it on the top and bottom!

If you are taking them to a party, a nice presentation would be to put an olive on top of the top bun and stick a toothpick through the slider.  With these flavors, pitted Kalamata olives work best (and just because those are my favorite kind, of course!)  Everyone at the party really liked these sliders, and I hope you do, too! 



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