This past weekend I got to return to the Greater Charlotte Home and Landscape Show at The Cabarrus Arena and Events Center.  The live cooking demonstration I did in 2020 was one of the last things I did (public appearance-wise) before the pandemic hit.  Last year, of course, the event was canceled.  So, it was SO great to see everyone back and back to normal this year for my “Big Game Mex-Sliders” demo.  These are PERFECT for your “Big Game” gathering.

I simply used a pound of 85/15 ground beef to yield 6 slider size burgers.  I made a spice mixture of 1 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. salt, ground pepper, 2 tsp. dried minced onion.  It amounted to about 2 tablespoons of spices.  You could certainly use taco seasoning pre-packaged for convenience.  We tested with both, and preferred the homemade spice a little more, and it allows you to tailor it to your taste.  Gently mix in the spice mix to the beef making sure to get it evenly into the meat without overmixing.  Form into 6 patties.  I heated up a cast iron skillet with a little canola oil and cooked the burgers about 4 minutes a side until done.  With about 30 seconds left in cooking time, I topped with pepper jack cheese, added a small amount of water to pan to create steam and covered with a lid to melt the cheese.  Remove the burgers and pour out excess grease.  Add a small amount of butter and warm the buns a few seconds.  To build them I spread a chipotle mayo on the buns.  That’s simply a mix of 1/4 cup mayo and a chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce with a bit of the sauce added and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and squeeze of fresh lime.  The optional avocado smash is chopped fresh avocado, seeded and chopped fresh roma tomato, chopped white onion, seeded and chopped fresh jalapeno, salt and pepper and fresh lime juice.  It can top the burgers or be served on the side.  The result is a delicious, juicy burger with the spice of a taco easy to hold and enjoy between two buttery, toasty buns!