I was fortunate enough to have Matty participate in one of my Food Salons in New York. I was consistently impressed by the way he wove together serious topics and those that were not so serious. He talked about his family and how food was a unifying force early in his life. He talked about moving from a small town to Toronto and taking in the energy of the city. He talked about the stresses of a chef’s life. We also talked about sneakers, which we both collect, and which raise some of the same creative issues as food—how to innovate while also respecting tradition, for example. This was still in my mind when I asked him to join in on the potluck, which is why I’m sending him Run-D.M.C.’s “My Adidas,” one of the legendary songs about shoes, stress, energy, and unifying forces.
Matty is a slider expert, and this dish is a perfect illustration of his expertise. Sliders are bite-size, so they’re able to do things with taste that full-size hamburgers cannot.
12 pack of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
1/2 cup (215 g) mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard of choice
1/2 dill pickle, diced
1/4 white onion, diced
12 (1/4-inch-/6-mm-thick) slices bologna (ask your deli counter to slice it)
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
12 slices American cheese
Shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)
Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Separate the rolls.
Make the sauce by mixing together the mayonnaise, mustard, dill pickle, and onion. Season with salt.
Use a biscuit cutter or glass just bigger than the diameter of the rolls to cut the bologna into slider-size pieces.
Fill a large pot with 2 inches (5 cm) of water and place a steamer basket inside. Cover and bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.
Place the rolls in the hot steamer basket and steam for 3 minutes, or until hot.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the preheated skillet. Add half of the bologna slices and pan-fry until the edges are golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place a slice of cheese over each slice of bologna and cook until just melted. Repeat with the remaining oil, bologna, and cheese.
Spread a nice amount of sauce on each bun. Sandwich the bologna and melted cheese into the rolls, add the lettuce, if using, and serve.
Recipe from Mixtape Potluck by Questlove © 2019 Ahmir Khalib Thompson. Recipe courtesy of Matty Matheson. Published by Abrams Image.
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