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Monday, May 26, 2008

memorial day cookout: my favorite borrowed recipes

burgers rings and potato salad

I'll take any excuse to grill burgers, and memorial day is no exception. I found several recipes from my favorite new food blogs, and decided to spice up my cookout routine - I'm so glad I did. The blue cheese and bacon potato salad is from the latest issue of Martha (which I accidentally receive at my house, since its former occupant was a subscriber). The burger recipe, which is unique more for the preparation method instead of the ingredients, comes from The Kitchn, an Apartment Therapy blog. And these onion rings, these most crispy-perfect-with-a-kick onion rings, are from Last Night's Dinner, quite possibly the world's prettiest food blog.

Grocery list: (for the burgers) 1/2 vidalia onion, 2 pounds ground beef, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a little leftover bacon grease, bacon, buns, any toppings you like; (for the potato salad) 1.5 pounds small red potatoes, 4 slices cooked bacon, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, 2 ounces blue cheese crumbles, chives, 1/2 cup buttermilk, olive oil; (for the onion rings) 1 large red onion, sriricha hot sauce (or other hot sauce), vegetable oil, salt, A/P flour.

kitchn burger snake recipe

Here's the original recipe from The Kitchn, which I followed almost exactly (other than substituting ground sirloin for ground chuck). I recommend spreading waxed paper and/or plastic wrap on the counter first, then shape the 2 pounds of beef into a long "snake". Form a deep trench in the middle, scattering the finely chopped onion into the well. Add about 10 dashes of worcestershire and soy sauces, a sprinkle of salt and garlic powder, and a generous amount of cracked pepper. If you have any leftover bacon grease (I don't serve burgers without bacon if I can help it), drizzle 1-2 T of this down the middle as well. Pinch off sections of the snake to form patties, and grill over medium heat till the burgers are as done as you like.

blue cheese dressing

For the blue cheese potato salad, start with the dressing. Mix together 1/2 cup buttermilk with 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (use a fork to break up the cheese thoroughly), then mix in 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 T red wine vinegar, and 1-2 T olive oil. Slice the potatoes into halves or quarters (bite size pieces), then boil in salted water for about 12 minutes, until you can pierce easily with a fork. Drain and allow to cool. Toss the potatoes with the dressing, and refrigerate to cool Just before serving, stir in a handful of finely chopped chives to the dressing, and 4 slices of crumbled bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

sriracha and onions

Now comes my favorite part, those onion rings... The photos from the original recipe on Last Night's Dinner are much better, but I'll include mine so you can see how easy it is to replicate her masterpiece. Start by thinly slicing a red onion and separating into rings; place in a large bowl. Season with sea salt, and generously coat with sriricha hot sauce (side note - my little brother and I spent some time in Cambodia last year, and I swear this is the exact hot sauce that was served with every meal I had there). Toss to coat, and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes for the onions to release their juices.

breading onion rings

Next, shake about 1/2 cup of AP flour into a large ziploc bag. Grab a handful of the onion rings, and squeeze out any excess water and hot sauce. Transfer to the bag, zip closed, and shake to coat. Heat about an inch deep vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet, until it shimmers (medium-high heat). Gently add a few onion rings at a time to the pan, and cook until golden and crispy.

onion rings

Use a spider to carefully remove the rings to a paper-towel lined plate; season with a little more sea salt. As LND says on her blog, these are best served hot and fresh - this is so true (I couldn't help but eat approximately 1/3 of the batch before ever getting them to the table).

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