We’re spending the weekend at my grandparents house doing yard work and eating good food. We picked weeds, pruned the plants, spread mulch, drove a half hour to buy more mulch, and then continued to spread even more mulch. Well if I’m being honest, I got out of the second round of mulch spreading because I had to start dinner. Speaking of dinner…
Let’s find out what’s in Ellie’s Belly tonight!
A good burger, some delicious baked fries, and some crunchy onion rings!! (Oh and lots of pickles, but I didn’t make those!) Yes that’s right tonight I made THREE new recipes! That’s already 5 recipes total! Only two days into summer! I am going to make it this year to my 100 recipes. (I actually have made 7 recipes!! but I haven’t posted them yet…so do they really count? You be the judge!) These recipes were made for my grandpa’s birthday dinner! Well, it’s his early birthday dinner!!
First off lets talk about the burgers! I recently bought a grilling cookbook from the Goodwill…for only $2…AND it’s in great condition!!!:) It’s called Retro Barbecue: Tasty Recipes for the Grillin’ Guy. I’m definitely not a guy, but I still love the cookbook. The recipes was called “Drippin’ Juicy Burgers”. The only thing truly unique about the recipe was that it called for evaporated milk. A shout out to the men for grilling my burgers! Apparently they were not the easiest to flip:( I appreciate their efforts though!! The burgers tasted good…no complaints…but I don’t think I’d make them again! They just didn’t have any special quality. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t amazing either.
The next food item was the “Baked Thick-Cut Seasoned Oven Fries.” This recipe is from averiecooks.com. I used this recipe pretty loosely! I only followed the oil (I used olive oil) and cornstarch parts. The seasonings I just made up! We love seasoned salt in my family, so that was a must! I left them pretty plain, so that everyone could season the fries to their liking! The fries turned out wonderfully! I’ve made baked fries before, but these are by far the best! They got nice and crispy on the outside (I actually almost burnt some!)
Finally, let’s talk about those onion rings! This recipe called “Crispy Baked Onion Rings” comes from sallysbakingaddiction.com. They were quite the process, but I think they were well worth it. I think I liked them more than anyone else, but everyone ate them and enjoyed them!! So as long as I’m willing to do all the work, they’ll eat them! I think next time I’ll do a double dipping in the egg and flour coating!! Then they’ll be even crispier!!
So here are the recipes!!
Drippen’ Juicy Burgers
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 small can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1. In a medium-sized bowl mix together the beef, onion, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic.
2. Dampen your hands and shape the mixture into 8 patties.
3. Sear burgers over a hot fire, then raise grill and continue grilling for another 8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Do not press with spatula as this presses out the juices.
4. Serve with your favorite array of toppings.
Crispy Baked Onion Rings
yield: SERVES 4
prep time: 4-12 HOURS FOR SOAKING, 25 MINUTES FOR BREADING
total time: 4-12 HOURS + 55 MINUTES
- 2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 quart (950ml) low fat buttermilk*
- 4 egg whites
- 2/3 cup (85g) whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
- 3/4 cup (125g) ground cornmeal
- 1 cup (60g) panko bread crumbs*
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- nonstick spray like PAM, olive oil spray, or coconut oil spray (found mine at Trader Joes)
At least 4 hours ahead of time, place the sliced onion rings into a large dish and pour buttermilk overtop. You don’t have to drown the onions, just make sure they are somewhat submerged. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. See my photo above. In this step, you are soaking the onions, which will tenderize them. I strongly suggest soaking them for at least 12 hours for the best taste. I soaked mine overnight.
Once the onions have soaked, remove from the refrigerator. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites. Set aside. In a large shallow dish (I used a pie dish), mix the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, bread crumbs, and the seasonings together until combined.
Remove each ring from the buttermilk and dip in egg whites. Immediately submerge in the bread crumb mixture, mixing around to coat the onion well. If the bread crumbs won’t adhere, dip in egg whites and then the breading again. If you find you need more breading, make more.
Lay each breaded ring on the baking sheets in a single layer. You’ll have two batches if your onions were quite large like mine. When all the rings are breaded, spray each with nonstick spray to “seal” the breading, which will prevent the breading from staying raw and allows it to bake onto the onion rings.
Bake each batch for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip each ring using tongs. Spray the other side with nonstick spray. Then bake for 15 more minutes. A note about bake time: all ovens are different! And everyone likes a different level of crispiness. I baked my onion rings in my oven for 30 minutes, rotating and flipping once, and they were perfectly brown and crisp. Just bake the rings until they reach your desired level of brownness.
Allow the onion rings to sit out for 10 minutes before digging in. Enjoy immediately.
Baked Thick-Cut Seasoned Oven Fries (vegan, GF)
YIELD: 2 XL or 3 med/large potatoes (Russet or sweet potatoes)
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: about 45 mintues
TOTAL TIME: about 1 hour
2 extra-large or 3 medium/large potatoes (russet or sweet potatoes), washed and trimmed into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices (I didn’t peel)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons coconut oil in liquid state (or another oil, i.e. olive, vegetable, canola)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or to taste (or substitute with your favorite seasonings or seasoning blend)
2 teaspoons cumin, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
ketchup or your favorite condiments, optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Slice potatoes and put into a gallon-sized Ziplock.
- Sprinkle cornstarch into bag, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat.
- Open bag and add oil, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat.
- Open bag and add smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper, seal bag, and toss potatoes to coat. Really manipulate the potatoes all around inside the bag, pushing the ones on the top to the bottom and vice versa, to equally distribute the oil and spices.
- Transfer potatoes to baking tray, arranged in a single flat layer, not quite touching, if possible. They don’t have to be in rows, but I find this easiest when it’s time to flip.
- Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and with a tongs, flip potatoes over.
- Return tray to oven and bake for about 15 to 20 more minutes, or until done. Baking times will vary based on your oven, the potatoes and how thick they’re cut, how full the tray is, and how well done you like your fries. Because it’s a very hot oven, keep a close eye on them in the final moments of baking so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and serve as soon as they’re cool enough to eat; fries are best warm and fresh. Optionally, serve with ketchup or your favorite condiments.