Friday, July 10, 2015

Grandma Hanna's Menus: Ground steak patties, ranch fries, cabbage salad, rhubarb pie

I'm cooking through my great-grandmother's menus -- get all the details here.  Today's menu: Ground steak patties, ranch fries, cabbage salad, rhubarb pie.  My interpretation of this menu was spicy onion burgers, seasoned oven fries, coleslaw, and a rhubarb custard pie.  The burgers are super simple, but made extra special with spicy pickled onions (see below for a link to the recipe).  I'm sort of obsessed with these pickled onions...they are good on everything and last a long time in the fridge.

On the side, my favorite oven fries.  My husband taught me the best way to make any sort of potatoes at home, and that's to partially cook the potatoes first, either in boiling water or by steaming.  This ensures that the potatoes won't be crunchy on the inside, which is my number one pet peeve of many potato dishes.  Here, Yukon Golds are steamed and then roasted at high heat until they're nice and crispy.  You can use whatever spice blend you like to season your fries; I used an aji amarillo blend from Raw Spice Bar.  To brighten up the plate, there's a scoop of a quick and easy vinegar-based slaw.

This meal was yummy, but the real star was dessert.  Ashley of Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen posted an amazing recipe for rhubarb custard pie.  We chatted a bit on Instagram, and it was really cool to find out that her family has been making this recipe since before she was born.  So, lots of history coming together with Ashley's recipe and my great-grandma's menu!  And this pie is seriously delicious.  The custard is sweet and the perfect contrast to tart cubes of rhubarb.  And, while it's fantastic warm out of the oven, it might be even better cold out of the fridge for breakfast the next morning!

Spicy Onion Burgers: Season a pound of ground beef with salt and pepper.  Shape into patties, and cook in a large skillet until the outside is nicely browned and the inside is cooked to your liking.  Serve the burgers on sesame buns with arugula, spicy pickled red onions, and ketchup.

Seasoned Oven Fries: For each person, use one large Yukon Gold potato.  Cut into large wedges, and then steam in a steamer basket until just tender (about 10 minutes).  Let cool for a few minutes, and then toss with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and your favorite spice blend.  Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, until browned and crispy.

Simple Slaw: For each person, use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of coleslaw mix (yep, from the grocery -- or you can thinly slice cabbage yourself, if you prefer).  Drizzle with olive oil and rice vinegar, and sprinkle with kosher salt, all to taste.  Mix well and let sit at least 5-10 minutes for the flavors to mingle before serving.

Rhubarb Custard Pie (adapted from Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen, original recipe here)
Makes 1 pie

2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar, divided
2 T flour
Generous pinch of salt
1 T unsalted butter, softened
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pie crust (store bought or homemade - either is fine!), pressed into a pie plate

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Stir together the rhubarb with 6 T sugar and set aside until the rhubarb has released its juices
3. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 T sugar, the flour, and the salt.  Work in the butter with a spoon until the mixture is uniform and sandy.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the rhubarb.
4. Pour everything into the prepared pie crust.  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees and cook another 30 minutes, until the filling is set.


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