So what’s this big ping-pong match on TV today? Or is it an extremely competitive piano recital contest? Either way, what sports on TV means to me is: theme cooking!

I’ve got my jersey on, my handmade football vases filled with flowers and dark charcoal marks under both of my eyes.

(Yeah, none of this is actually happening.)

Turkey Meatball Sliders With Caramelized Onions and Guacamole:

Homemade Chips

Guacamole

My turkey sliders

His turkey sliders. Ok so what if his are prettier than mine. Mine had cheese!

What it takes for 6 sliders:

· 1 pound ground turkey

· 2 Tbs. soy sauce

· 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

· 1 Tbs. Sambal Oelek

· 1/4th fresh parsley, chopped

· 3 garlic cloves, minced

· 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (or panko)

· 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

· 6 frozen whole wheat dinner rolls

· 1 onion, sliced thinly

· 2 avocados

· 1/4th cup fresh cilantro, chopped

· dash of cumin

· juice of one lime

· coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

· a stack of corn tortillas

· non-stick spray oil

I like to get started on the sliders early in the day so all the ingredients can fall in love, marry and have twins. Or I guess sextuplets. Ba domp. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, soy sauce, Worcestershire, Sambal Oelek, parsley, garlic, and breadcrumbs. Mix with your hands until incorporated. Make 6 balls, set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, stick them in the fridge and forget about them until dinner.

About an hour before dinner, start caramelizing the onions. In a large skillet, heat a Tbs. or so of extra virgin olive oil over medium-low. Add the sliced onions and let them sauté for about 45 minutes, stirring once in a while. You don’t want to burn the onions, or even brown them like in fajitas. Caramelizing will allow the sugars to release. They’ll slowly cook and become candy right before your eyes. Once caramelized, remove them from the pan and set aside. Cover to keep warm.

For the chips, preheat your oven to 400. With a sharp knife, cut a good stack of corn tortillas, making 4 equal triangles. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray each side with the non-stick spray, and give them a light sprinkle with salt. You can add whatever seasoning you prefer at this time, but I prefer them just salted. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, checking at the 5-minute mark. They should be crisping up and curling slightly. Once baked, set them aside in a bowl. They’ll continue to crisp as they cool.

For ze guacamole, mash up a couple of avocados in a bowl. Add the cilantro and sprinkle with coarse salt and a dash of cumin. Give it a good spritz of lime. That’s it! Taste it. Eyes are closing huh?

Back to the sliders: Go ahead and lower your oven temp to 325. Using the baking sheet that you used for the chips, arrange the dinner rolls and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Once cooked, let them cool slightly and slice them in half with a sharp knife. Switch the oven to broil. This will be for our cheese meltage in a sec.

Back in the skillet that you used for the onions, bring another Tbs. or 2 of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high. Place the meatballs in the pan and cook until all sides are browned and cooked through, around 10 to 15 minutes.

For those who want cheese with their slider (read: not Aaron) sprinkle some cheese on top of each meatball and throw it under the broiler for about 30 seconds, until the cheese melts.

To serve, (yes, we made it!) place a meatball on the bottom half of a dinner roll. Top with caramelized onions, guacamole and place the top half of the dinner roll on the slider.

The remaining guacamole will be devoured with those homemade chips you made.

Go team go! (who’s playing again?)