Those who follow Dixie Pixie Dust (my travels blog) may remember we spent our wedding anniversary in El Reno, Oklahoma, dining at Sid’s, home of the original onion burger. It’s a classic diner along historic Route 66.
Today I duplicated the experience in our kitchen. I need to tweak my technique a bit, but we were pleased with the results.
I toasted whole wheat hamburger buns, which I discovered hidden in my freezer, on the griddle while frozen fries cooked in the air fryer.
Using two quarter-pound burgers from the freezer and one onion, chopped, I grilled the onions first before adding the burger. Onion burgers are created by pressing the meat into the onions, incorporating the onions into the meat. Sid’s uses 3 ounces beef, which yields a thinner burger.
The onion burger was born in the Great Depression as an economic move to stretch beef. Like many recipes of that era it’s now a popular, beloved dish. Onion burgers are a way to reduce red meat and add a vegetable to a meal.Unfortunately, I already had 4-ounce patties. Next time I will use 3 ounces of meat for a better meat-to-onions ratio.
I can’t compete with Sid’s Diner, but this was a close knock-off. Not bad quarantine cuisine.
If you’re southern, chances are you have some kind of greens cooking up with some cut of pork, along with a pot of black-eye peas and a skillet of cornbread. Maybe your black-eye peas are part of a Hoppin’ John dish, which is mixed with spices and rice. It’s a New Year’s Day tradition and believed to bring good luck.
There are other traditions, worldwide, but I grew up with the southern version. I resisted it, too, until my adult years when I discovered the food tasted good together. Legumes and leafy green vegetables are healthful, so eating them on New Year’s Day starts off the year on a positive note, at least nutritionally. But where did the ideas that such cuisine brought good luck originate?
Who knows for sure. There is a theory that because the pig digs with its snout in a forward motion, the pig symbolizes progress…
A common complaint I hear about making sandwiches with 100% whole wheat bread is the toughness of the bread. Whole wheat bread can be dense and chewy, and what most people want for a sandwich is light and tender. Yet there is little nutrition in white bread, and almost no fiber.
After experimenting in the Hasty Tasty Meals Kitchen, I’ve found a way to make whole wheat bread with the right texture for sandwiches. Whether you have a bread machine or you use a Vitamix or your hands, try this recipe. You’ll need a 12 oz. can of beer (and no, it’s not for the cook! :D)
Whole Wheat Beer Bread
12 oz can beer, room temperature (pull the tab so it goes flat)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. molasses
½ stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. wheat germ
½ cup gluten
2½ tsp. yeast
Add all ingredients in order listed to the bread machine pan. Select “Wheat” setting and hit “Start.” Approximately three and a half hours later, you’ll have tasty whole wheat bread. Remove immediately from the bread pan and allow to cool before slicing.
If you don’t use a bread machine, make the dough (I’ve omitted dough making instructions, but if you have a Vitamix, follow the directions in your Vitamix book) and let it rise. Knead and let it rise again. Bake in a buttered loaf pan at 350° for about 40 minutes or until done. Loaf is fully baked when you thump it and it sounds hollow. Remove loaf from pan and allow it to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.
You will be delighted with the airy softness of this whole wheat bread. Enjoy!