Saturday, June 26, 2021

Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers


If you're down in the Sooner State and order a burger, you're going to get one heckuva taste treat....The Oklahoma Fried Onion Burger. It's essentially a smash burger with paper-thin fried onions pressed into the burger on one side. This burger was created by Ross Davis in 1926. He ran the Hamburger Inn on Route 66 in El Reno, Oklahoma.

There are 3 critical ingredients to making this burger. The first is the onion. You want a sweet yellow onion sliced really thin on a mandolin. Then you salt the slices and let them drain. If you don't do this step, your onions will have too much moisture and will steam instead of frying. Second is the beef. You want a minimum of 15% fat (85% lean). Fat is flavor and you want that fat to give you a really good char on the non-onion side of the patty. Third is the bun. Sorry....only a soft and fluffy potato bun will do.


1 large yellow onion, sliced 1/8" thick
Salt and pepper
12 ounces of ground beef
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 slices American cheese
4 potato hamburger buns, buttered and toasted

  1. Combine onion and 1 teaspoon salt in bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to colander and let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Using tongs, transfer onion to clean dish towel, gather edges and squeeze onion dry. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Divide onion mixture into 4 separate mounds on rimmed baking sheet. Form beef into 4 lightly packed balls and season with salt and pepper. Place beef balls on top of onion mounds and flatten beef firmly so onion adheres and patties measure 4 inches in diameter.
  3. Melt butter with oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using spatula, transfer patties to skillet, onion side down, and cook until onion is deep golden brown and beginning to crisp around edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip burgers, increase heat to high, and cook until well browned on second side, about 2 minutes. Place 1 slice cheese on each bottom bun. Place burgers on buns, add desired toppings and serve.

Pairing: An ice-cold Pilsner

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Italian Pasta Salad


Tell someone you live in Minnesota and it conjures up images of a vast, arctic tundra. I beg to differ. Here we sit on June 19 and we have already had 20 days of temperatures in excess of 90ยบ. Too hot to cook in the  kitchen. Painfully hot to grill on the deck.

So to escape the heat of cooking, I like to make a big bowl of Italian Pasta Salad. This recipe has 3 distinct advantages. 1. It's delicious. 2. Eating a chilled pasta salad is a great way to beat the heat. 3. It will keep in the fridge for 4 days, so you can get multiple meals out of a single prep session.

In order to make sure it's delicious, you need to use quality ingredients. For the salami, skip the meat aisle and head to the deli. You want real Italian artisan salami. If you belong to Costco, there is no mozzarella in the world as great as Galbani's Marinated Fresh Mozzarella balls. And if you are feeling lazy and don't want to make homemade Italian dressing, I'd suggest Ken's Steakhouse Zesty Italian Dressing.


For the Dressing

1-1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried Turkish oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the Salad

1 pound cooked rotini
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1 pound salami, cubed 
3/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
3/4 cup pepperoncini, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 
1/2 cups fresh chopped parsley

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar, cover and shake vigorously. Set aside.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Then add 1/2 to 3/4 of the dressing to the salad and thoroughly toss until mixed. 
  3. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving. Refrigerate the remaining dressing and use it to freshen the salad leftovers for subsequent meals.

Wine pairing: Chianti

Cersei chose not to make homemade dressing

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Shrimp with Horseradish Butter


This is a perfect weeknight dinner. Prep and cooking time will take you less than 10 minutes. The ingredient list is short....everything about this recipe is simple. But it offers a big taste and all it really needs for its crowning glory is a warm loaf of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

3 lemons
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus more to taste
Kosher salt
1 pound large shrimp (15 to 20 per pound), shelled and deveined
Small bunch of chopped dill
Crusty bread


    1. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and set aside. Juice lemons to yield 1/2 cup of juice. 
    2. Melt 1-1/2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon horseradish, half of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Increase heat.
    3. As soon as that comes to a boil, add the shrimp and another pinch of salt. Simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, flipping each shrimp halfway through, until pink and firm.
    4. Stir in the remaining 1-½ tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of horseradish. Taste and increase the salt and/or horseradish, if you’d like.
    5. Top with the lemon zest and dill, plus a sprinkle of salt (flaky finishing salt is nice if you’ve got it) and serve with crusty bread.

    Wine pairing: An oaky Chardonnay

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956