A slider with star power: Jupiter food blogger’s recipe featured on ABC’s ‘The Chew’

Local foodies


The memory of an unexpectedly good bite can spark a recipe, a flavor flashback and maybe a cameo on national TV. 

Jupiter food blogger Dianna Muscari knows this well. On a 2016 trip to Charleston, SC, she fell for some crispy beet sliders at 5Church, a restaurant set in a renovated church. While she’s not one to order fried foods, Muscari was too intrigued to pass up the dish.

She’s glad she did – in fact, she still sings its praises.  

“Some people bring home souvenirs – I bring home kitchen inspiration!” Muscari wrote in a post on her site, TheKitchenPrepBlog.com two years ago this month. 

Thanks to that inspiration, she made the slider dish her own, giving it the healthier turns that define her Kitchen Prep dishes. That lighter rendition would take on a life of its own.  

A year and a half after publishing the slider recipe on her blog, Muscari re-posted its vibrant photo on her Instagram page with the usual heap of hashtags, including #youonthechew. That hashtag worked some magic, catching the eye of the social media masters at ABC’s “The Chew.”  

Fast-forward to the afternoon of Wednesday, June 27, and there’s “The Chew” crew – Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon and Carla Hall – riffing about Muscari’s healthy beet sliders.  

Co-host Kelly tells the audience “The Chew” found Muscari’s recipe, “one that we really just had to try,” after a “deep dive” into their social media sea.  

“These are crispy beet sliders from Dianna M. And we were very intrigued,” says Kelly. “So, let’s meet Dianna. Where could she be? Maybe hiding in this burger?”  

The co-host goes over to a mock burger on the counter, and flips the top bun to reveal a snapshot of Muscari, her arms stretched upward in a joyous pose.  

A blast of celebratory music, then:  

“Hi, Dianna!” says Kelly. “She’s so excited to jump out of there.”  

Muscari was indeed excited about the national shout-out, though she might have been even more thrilled had the show, A, mentioned her blog, and, B, given credit to the restaurant that inspired the recipe.  

“Because the dish was so unique, I think it’s right to give credit to the place,” she said by phone last week.  

As she watched the show at home, Muscari says she braced herself at the start of the episode. She wondered how her crispy beets would hold up in an episode devoted to juicy, meaty burgers. She worried how chef Michael Symon, poster guy for carnivores everywhere, might react to her veggie sliders.  

“I was holding my breath the whole time,” the blogger recalled.  

But the verdict was a glowing one for Muscari and her recipe. Even Symon appeared pleasantly surprised by the bite, offering a few “grunts of approval,” she notes. “He seemed actually shocked.”  

For her part, Muscari was baffled at how the show tweaked her fairly straightforward recipe. They peeled and roasted the beets. (Muscari uses the ready-cooked beets from Trader Joe’s.) They also made a different kind of creamy topping for the sliders, using cream cheese, Greek yogurt and herbs. (Muscari spreads Boursin cheese on the sliders instead.)  

“They actually complicated my method,” she said.  

Then again, she also knows that this is the nature of memorable dishes and the recipes they inspire – they are prone to twists and tweaks as they are made new. 


RECIPE  

The following recipe is reprinted from TheKitchenPrepBlog.com with permission of its author, Dianna Muscari.  

Crispy Beet Sliders  

After sampling the deep-fried beet sliders at 5Church restaurant during a 2016 trip to Charleston, Jupiter blogger Dianna Muscari set out to re-create the dish in a lighter rendition. “I Dianna-fied the sliders by baking them instead of deep-frying, and adding pickled onions for an extra kick from the tangy vinegar,” she later wrote on her site, TheKitchenPrepBlog.com.  

She offered these tips:  

  • Instead of buying raw beets and roasting or steaming them (which I find messy and time consuming), I used ready-to-eat beets from Trader Joe's. They can be found in the produce section sealed in plastic. 
  • I didn't specify the amounts for this recipe because it depends on how many sliders you want to make. A large beet can be sliced into 3-4 slider "steaks." This recipe is easy to make for one or multiply for a crowd. 

INGREDIENTS  

For the beets:  

  • Cooked beets, sliced about 3/4 inch thick 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour per slice 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 teaspoon milk or water 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon panko breadcrumbs per slice 

For the sliders: 

  • Slider buns, lightly toasted 
  • Boursin cheese 
  • Pickled onions 
  • Avocado slices 
  • Arugula or mixed greens  

Make the sliders:  

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Set aside. 
  2. Dredge the beets by first tossing in flour, shaking off excess, then dunking into the egg mixture. 
  3. Let the excess egg drip off, then toss immediately into the panko bread crumbs until completely coated. Place on prepared baking pan. 
  4. Repeat with all beet slices. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the panko is golden. 

Assemble the sliders:

  • Spread Boursin on the slider buns. Place a crispy beet slice on the bun. Top with some pickled red onion, avocado and greens of your choice.


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