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Author Notes: One of the greatest things about writing a cookbook has been the welcome surprise of many new friends and the exciting process of working with new photographers. As of late, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with one Jon Barry, a local Baton Rouge photographer, writer, and talented gastronome, who has been helping me get some exciting culinary shots for my first cookbook. What I love about Jon’s photography is the vibrancy and beauty of his images. They never fail to tell a story, introduce beautiful faces (and places), and when coupled with some of my cooking, make food look darn good.
To give you an example, here’s one of the first images Jon ever took of me. Hands down, my favorite photo ever.
Since meeting, Jon and I have shared several glasses of wine and great meals and I cannot seem to find enough opportunities to feed him tester recipes for The Fresh Table. Recently, I took the opportunity to make Jon a dish called “BBQ Meatball Sliders.” Sliders, or really “tiny hamburgers,” are a juicy and flavorful way to start or finish any meal. With a combination of spicy meats, Parmesan, and good quality BBQ sauce, this dish just screams summer barbecues whether you live in Louisiana or not. Here are some of the shots Jon captured with his fancy camera and hungry stomach.
Whether you’re craving a good burger or an easy recipe for any summer barbecue, try these simple meatball sliders for flavor that’s cookbook worthy. —Helana Brigman
Makes 12 sliders
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground spicy pork
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce (such as Jack Miller's or Stubb's so long as it's *spicy*)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
- regular or whole wheat rolls, halved or toasted
- Provolone cheese, sliced thinly
- arugula or other leafy greens
- In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, bread crumbs, parmesan, egg and egg yolk, salt, parsley, BBQ sauce, and cayenne to integrate fully. Form mixture into 3-inch meatballs (about 12).
- In an outdoor heated grill, place half of the meatballs over an open flame grilling until brown all over and cooked all the way through. Avoid the urge to flatten meatballs as you want them to keep their “ball” shape.
- Plate cooked meatballs and drain excess oil and brush with any leftover BBQ sauce. Serve on toasted rolls with provolone cheese, arugula, and spear with toothpicks and serve.