The West Coast has some of life's greatest pleasures: scenic coasts, vast national forests and a chill, easy-going attitude. But, although many East Coasters happily call California home (myself included), too often do we find ourselves trying to fill the square-shaped holes in our hearts caused by the distinct lack of White Castle. We'll try those "amazing" gastropub burgers in the trendy part of town or even throw down on Double-Doubles. But sometimes, even In-N-Out can't fulfill us. I'm here to help.
To those who have never tried White Castle before, I'm sorry for your loss. White Castle burgers are literal bundles of onion-y joy sandwiched between two fluffy buns of happiness. Of course, too much of this ecstasy might cause brains to explode, so White Castle wisely makes its signature dish fit in the palm of your hand. They have locations in 12 states, none of which are California.
Inspired by this recipe by Mommy's Kitchen, here's how to make your own White Castle burgers -- Harold and Kumar approved.
DIY White Castle burgers
Ingredients • Rolls (I went with Hawaiian to change it up a bit, but any small rolls will work) • 2 lbs. 80/20 ground beef • 6 slices of cheddar or American cheese • Seasoning salt to taste • ½ cup of dried onion flakes • Pickles (optional)
Directions: Form square-shaped patties by hand. They should be roughly 1/4" thick and about ½" bigger than the width of the rolls.
Cook on medium high skillet for about 3 minutes on each side.
While cooking, sprinkle seasoning salt and enough onion flakes to lightly coat one side of the burger patty.
Slice open the rolls. Use a spatula to place the patty, onion-side down, on the bottom half of the bun. Place cheese on top while still hot and allow a few minutes to melt.
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Top each slider with pickle, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 sliders (But it would be OK if you ate them all yourself) Nothing's better than the original, but this recipe is close enough to subdue any White Castle craving. I had someone from Pennsylvania, who's very familiar with the mini miracles, try one, and they confirmed that it tasted like the real deal.
You're welcome, OC.