A Slider for Every Series: Hipster Huckleberry (Barbecue Catfish) Slider, St. Louis Cardinals
I went back to some of my favorite childhood reading for this slider. I was, and still am, a huge fan of Mark Twain. His characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were the muses for much of this creation.
Fishin’, especially catfishin’, was a big pastime of these two boyhood pals. I know a little bit about that. My grandfather grew up in Olive Branch, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, and a little down the Mississippi River from St. Louis. When I was a kid, we’d go catfishin’ here in Arizona. It’s THE fish in St. Louis and further south.
Missouri is a big corn state. And, for some reason, our season opener against the Cardinals always coincides with Lima Bean Respect Day…and when I checked, lima beans are a Missouri crop. So the succotash topper is a tribute to Missouri agriculture.
Poor Lima Beans, when I went to get them for this project, they were nearly impossible to find. Seems they’ve been shoved out of the frozen food shelves by their doppelganger, edamame. Soybeans are another big Missouri crop, but on behalf of the humble bean that just wants you to give it a chance, I stuck with the Limas, and let them have their day on the slider.
One note about barbecue sauce. It’s not a condiment I use much of, and I was rather dismayed at how many of the ready made versions had high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list. Read your labels!
Catfish and hushpuppies are a natural combination. My first real job in high school was at Long John Silver’s. I believe that is the last time I have even had a hush puppy. It may have to do with the fact that the entire time I worked there I smelled like hush puppy grease. The pants appeared out of one of my parents’ closet a few years ago and they have maintained that odor since 1978.
But, it was time to create a newer, better version. A gardening site said that root vegetables grow extremely well in the St. Louis area. So I made use of my most recent CSA share, full of root vegetables, and created some baked minis in a variety of colors. And, since everyone I asked about St. Louis food said they are most famous for their beer, added that into the batter. That gave me an excuse to add a picture of the beautiful Clydesdales to this blog post.
Here are my recipes for each of these components. Enjoy!
For the breading, I simply mixed equal parts of Parmesan cheese and ground flaxseed to roll my filet in before grilling.
Olive Oil Biscuits
- 2 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 1% milk
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add olive oil and milk. Stir to combine.
- Place mixing bowl in refrigerator for 30 minutes to harden dough.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and place on floured counter. Knead, adding just enough flour to create a dough that is easily rolled and cut without sticking. (I aded about 1/4 cup)
- Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter or glass which has been floured to prevent sticking.
- Bake biscuits for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Root Vegetable Hush Puppy Bites
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup beer
- 1/2 sweet potato, cooked and mashed
- 1 medium sized beet, roasted and mashed
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in beaten eggs until well combined.
- Divide dry ingredients in half.
- In one half, add sweet potato and beer; stir well to combine.
- In one half, add beet and beer; stir well to combine. Beets contain more water than sweet potatoes. If batter is too moist (use sweet potato batter for comparison), add more cornmeal until you achieve the right consistency.
- Spoon teaspoon-sized batter balls onto a baking pan lined with a silicon baking sheet.
- Bake until the tops of the batter balls are nicely browned, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.