I'm back in Baltimore for my family's Christmas Eve extravagaannzzaaaa and to destroy my mothers kitchen in a boozy flurry of baking, roasting, sautéing, and probably something involving my new smoking gun.
I can make a truly excellent mess in a kitchen.
Every year for our Christmas Eve party, I get to make an apetizer, a side dish, and my absolute favorite Garden and Gun bourbon punch. I've been striclty assigned those three items in a futile attempt to limit my mess. But this year, I'm allowed to do more!
This Christmas Eve party stared small, but over the years it has grown to almost 100 people. Kids outnumber the parents, which actually made things easier at one point. Throw some frozen chicken nuggets in the oven and heat up some mac and cheese and us kids were good. Leave the fancy roasts and side dishes for the grown ups.
But now the "kids" are graduating college, getting married, and the BABIES that I remember being born are old enough to drive. Oh, and we all want to eat the grown up food.
Which brings me to these sliders. Instead of preparing enough steak for 100 "adults" (!?), I get to make one more dish!
These sliders aren't your typical cold weather, curl up by the fire, burrow in a blanket with a good book food. But they are sweet, salty, savory, and oops-did-I-just-eat-the-entire-tray delicious.
They're really great for all seasons, the pulled pork makes them feel like fall, the pineapple makes them feel like spring, and they can be served hot in the winter or cold in the summer.
I've made these sliders so many times for so many different occassions. For the boyfriend's law school class, for my golden birthday, and for a honeymoon-themed Bridal shower to name a few. They're called "medianoche" because they're what you want to eat in the middle of the night, which happens to be when the Christmas-eve party ends. Whether you spent the night drinking, partying, studying, or netflixing in sweats, these are the perfect late night snack.
They are also SO EASY and as close to mess-free as you can get. They only need 25 minutes in the oven, and if you have pulled pork in the fridge (or if you just leave it out of the sliders), the sandwiches can be put together in less than 10 minutes. Perfect for those times you forget that you are supposed to bring food to a party. If that doesn't sound like you (aka if you are an organized and put-together human being)... you can assemble the sandwiches two days in advance.
for the sandwiches:
2 packs Hawaiian dinner rolls
2-3 packs deli ham (go with 3 if leaving out the pulled pork or if the ham is thinly sliced)
2 packs sliced Swiss cheese
1 jar sweet pickles
for the pulled pork (you will have extra):
2 lbs pork loin
1/2 cup smoky BBQ sauce
1 can pineapple
1 tsp liquid smoke
for the sauce:
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 small sweet onion
to make the pulled pork, rub salt and pepper over the pork loin and place it in the slow cooker. Whisk the BBQ sauce, pineapple (liquid and all), and liquid smoke in a bowl, and pour it over the pork. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred with two forks (or use an electric mixer to shred). Discard all but 1 cup of the liquid in the slow cooker, and return the shredded pork and the reserved liquid to the slow cooker, and set aside.
to assemble the sandwiches, put the bottom half of the Hawaiian rolls in the casserole dish. Layer in the ham, followed by the pulled pork, then the pickles, and finally the swiss cheese. Add the tops of sandwich rolls, and cover & refridgerate if you will not be baking right away.
to bake with the mustard sauce, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Finely dice the onion and melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Whisk the Dijon mustard and diced onions with the melter butter. Pour the sauce over the sandwiches and cover with foil. Bake covered for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until the top is crispy (but not burnt).
slice and enjoy hot or cold for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a midnight snack.