Wow oh wow, this weeks Mystery Basket looked like East Coast meets West Coast meets Halloween meets Hawaii, Oysters, Mango, Pecans and Pumpkin, what in the world would I make with this odd combination of ingredients?
Luckily for me I visited Miami in the spring and was treated to a delicious dinner at The Dutch by my great friend Mr. Manning. What does my amazing dinner in Miami have to do with this weeks Chopped Challenge you ask? Well, it was at this dinner that I had Oyster Sliders for the first time.
As soon as Thomas Kamakani threw the oyster’s in the mystery basket this week, I knew I must re-create these delicious sliders, Little Leopard style.
I added the pecans from Cindi Bogue into the breading for the oysters, used the pumpkin from Kelly Taylor Shirley to make the sauce for the sliders and combined the mango from Rafael Ocampo with pickled onions and jalapeños to make a fantastic relish to top these babies!
The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Nine: Crispy Oyster Sliders with Pickled Jalapeño Mango Relish and Spicy Pumpkin Aioli.
Pickled Jalapeño Mango Relish (Makes 4 Cups)
- 2 red onions (sliced)
- 4 large jalapeños (de-seeded and sliced)
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp whole coriander
- 1/2 mango (peeled and chopped)
- 2 limes (juiced)
- 1 tbsp cilantro
(Ignore the cabbage in the picture, I was originally going to make a slaw, but changed my mind. I’m a girl, we do that 😉 )
Begin by pickling the onions and jalapeños. Poach the onions in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Remove from the water and place in a bowl or dish with lid.
Whisk together the apple cider, sugar and coriander.
Add the jalapenos to the mixture then pour on top of the onions.
Put the lid on top of the dish and place into the refrigerator for one hour.
Remove from the refrigerator and add the lime juice and cilantro.
Remove the pickled vegetables from the vinegar sauce and place in a small bowl, then add the chopped mango.
Next, prepare the Spicy Pumpkin Aioli.
Spicy Pumpkin Aioli (makes 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne Pepper
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup vegenaise
Add all ingredients to a small bowl.
Cover and refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.
Next, prepare the oysters.
Ingredients (makes 3 fried oysters)
- 3 large oysters
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Start by shucking and cleaning the oysters. (Thank you to my roommate Ryan for being my “Professional King of Shucking”, as he proudly named himself after successfully shucking the oysters with a kitchen knife, haha)
Next, prepare the breading my placing the cornmeal, pecans, paprika and cayenne pepper in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.
Place the mixture in a shallow bowl and roll the oysters in the breading.
Place a skillet with 1/2 inch of canola oil over medium-high heat.
When hot, add the oysters to the oil.
Cook for 1 minute on each side then drain on a paper towel.
Now it’s time to put the sliders together!
I used homemade pretzel buns as the base for the slider, but any slider buns will work!
Start by placing the aioli on the bottom bun.
Next, place the oysters on top.
Then top with the relish.
Aren’t they so cute and fancy?
I went on a little bit of a picture-taking frenzy!
Now top them with the other half of the bun and skewer them to keep all the goodies together!
Then take some more pictures of how cute they are!
And top with another pickled jalapeño, because it looks pretty and you can never have too many pickled jalapeños in your life!
♦ Gluten Free Option: The sauce, relish and oysters are gluten-free, simply replace the pretzel bun with a gluten-free bun to make this dish gluten-free.