Get ready for game-day with these sliders dedicated to Julian Edelman! Topped with a fried clam and special Old Bay sauce on a mini pretzel bun, these sliders are worthy of your favorite little wide receiver.
As if becoming the passing focal point for America’s team wasn’t enough of a reason to make these sliders in honor of Edelman, it turns out that Jules has an affinity for great burgers. It doesn’t hurt to do a quick Google search on some photos of him, either.
First, check out how quick and creative Edelman is in his BurgerTyme video where he talks football over some burgers. The man even has his own jingle.
Second, both Edelman and Gronkowski worked with the Wahlburgs to create a Patriots burger for the Wahlburgers restaurant. The boys got some flack for their ideas, which included Gronk’s suggestion that the burger be made with “maybe, like, some New England clam chowder”. But I didn’t laugh when I heard Edelman suggest putting fried clams on a burger. Putting some salty, crunchy, fried clams on top of a burger sounded great to me. And let’s not forget that the man is a burger expert. His good taste has been noted, and people continually publish lists of his favorites.
So I made Jules this slider. The meat is always quality and at least 20% fat. The clams are freshly fried. The special sauce is a mix of old bay and mayo. Everything is layered on a pretzel bun, which is the perfect vessel for a savory, juicy burger.
These never stay on a tray for long on gameday.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1.5 lbs fatty ground beef (Ask your butcher for 27% if they have it)
- 1/2 cup Helmans Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 lb soft shell clams
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated sea salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- About 2 cups canola oil for frying
9-12 mini pretzel buns (My recipe is available below if you can’t find any)
Shuck the clams. Cut into the two muscles on the sides of where the shell is fused together. Then press down into the open side to pull the shell from one side. Carefully pull the clam out of the other side. Cut directly into the siphon of the clam to allow any sand to escape from there. After this, pull off the outer membrane of the clambody. It’s a little like removing a sausage casing. Place each shucked clam into a bowl of water.
Put everything in place before you start cooking. Because you want your meat and clams to be hot and ready at the same time, it helps to have everything ready to go. Put the milk in a bowl, and the flour and salt mixed in a separate bowl. Place these near each other, along with the bowl of clams and a colander with papertowels where you will drain the fried clams of excess oil. Preheat the oven to 200F. Mix the mayo and old bay into a small bowl. Cut the buns in half, if they aren’t already. Pour the oil into a deep pan, and place the heat on medium.
Prepare the sliders. Make small patties out of your meat. Don’t overwork the meat, or it will become stiff when you cook it. I also recommend making small divots in the middle of the patties; this will prevent them from becoming ball-shaped instead of patty-shaped as they cook. Put the butter in an ovenproof frying pan (preferably you can do all of your patties in this pan in a single batch) and bring it up to high heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the patties. Bring the gas to medium-low. Don’t overcook the meat. Only cook each side for about 1 1/2-2 minutes. Then place the entire pan in the oven to stay warm while you cook the clams.
Cook the clams. You’ll know when the oil is hot enough when a drop of the batter sizzles on contact. Submerge clams into the buttermilk, followed by the dry ingredients, and drop into the oil. Try not to put too many clams in the oil at a time; it can be overwhelming to have too much going on in there. After the clams are golden, remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels.
Assemble the sliders. Place a patty on each bun, with a clam or two on top. Then slather some of the special sauce on top, and pin everything together with a toothpick. Enjoy!
Mini Pretzel Bun Recipe
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 tbsp sugar
Pour the yeast over 1 cup warm water in a large bowl, and let sit for about 15 minutes. Then mix in the honey, salt, and flour. Add the flour gradually. Kneed for 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel for 30 minutes to rise. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll these into little balls. Place them on a greased pan, cover, and let sit 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425F. Bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add the baking soda and sugar. Boil the buns 30 seconds per side. Place them on a baking pan and sprinkle them with salt. Then bake them for about 15 minutes, or until done.