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Super Bowl Sliders

January 15, 2009

Category: Recipes
Posted by: Sam Edelman
After catching the playoffs last weekend, it was time to start gearing up for the Super Bowl festivities on Feb. 1. A spread of great munchies and finger foods is a necessity. While you could go with fresh veggie sticks and sliced fruit, something about it just doesn't seem right. It's nice to be able to splurge a few times a year on fried, cheesy, salty foods that we work so hard to resist. Still, you can incorporate some healthy ingredients without guests suspecting a thing. Sliders are among my favorite Super Bowl foods. These mini burgers are simple to make, easy to eat and actually not all that bad for you. The patties can be prepared in advance and either cooked to order or pre-grilled and kept in the oven warmer to be enjoyed throughout the game. A condiment station allows guests to pick their own toppings.

We are fortunate to have locally raised beef at the Tuesday Santa Barbara and Saturday Santa Barbara farmers markets. It makes for some of the juiciest sliders or burgers you can imagine. Rancho San Julian and Rocky Canyon Ranch produce some of the cleanest and most delicious ground beef I have ever tasted, raised naturally, free of hormones and antibiotics. Just by looking at the color of the meat in the package (deep red) you can tell the difference between farm-raised beef and what's often found on a large scale at grocery stores.

Because of their size, sliders are a lot of fun to make. They should be about a third the size of a regular patty. I season the beef quite a bit to enhance the flavor, but if you have a basic burger mix that you are fond of, that will work great. For the buns, I prefer using the healthier mini wheat roll, which is available from Creekside Apple Ranch at the Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang and Saturday Santa Barbara farmers markets. Otherwise, most grocery stores sell slider buns in the fresh bread section.

Game on!

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Category: Picks of the Week
Posted by: Sam Edelman
Organic mint

With the sun shining through our Southern California winter, local herbs are thriving in the frost-free zone. Fresh mint is surprisingly still in abundance this time of year, with a refreshing flavor packed into its large green leaves. Perfect for adding to salads, sliced fruits, and grilled meats and veggies. It also combines nicely with fruit juices, garlic and honey to make a delicious marinade for Tropical Mint Chicken, the Fix of the Week on page D8. Spearmint and peppermint varieties are available. Organically grown by Earthtrine Farm of Ojai. Now at the Tuesday Santa Barbara and Saturday Santa Barbara farmers markets. About $1.25 per bunch.


You'll really notice a difference in the quality of these nuts this time of year, when they are at their freshest. Pecans are an excellent source of protein and fiber and contain iron, calcium, vitamins A, B and C, and potassium and phosphorous. They are also cholesterol-free, while the fat is mostly polyunsaturated. Grown by Avila and Sons Farm and available at the Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang, Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real markets. $9 per pound.

Local mushrooms

We have some exceptional mushrooms right now, including shiitake and oyster as well as those highly sought wild chanterelles (Saturday market only). Perfect for sautčing, roasting or grilling, fresh mushrooms add a great texture to dishes. Available at the Tuesday Santa Barbara, Wednesday Solvang, Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real markets. About $6 to $15 per pound, depending on the variety.