Oniony Hamburgers; Oven French Fries; Cabbage and Red Pepper Salad with Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette

By Ira

“When I take a bite, there’s joy in my mouth”, that’s how much my son loves these burgers. That’s because the meat is full of flavor from the cooked onions, balsamic vinegar and a dash of soy sauce.

The oven French Fries are very crispy. The trick is to soak the cut potatoes in water for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

The coleslaw is a very refreshing salad. The addition of cumin gives it a completely unique taste than the traditional coleslaw salad.

I cook this on the weekend as you need to keep the potatoes in the water for at least 3 hours or overnight. You also need to wilt the cabbage in salt for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Oniony Hamburgers 

Serves 8 – Adapted from Annabel Karmel’s Cooking with Kids

Additional burgers can be frozen raw.

  • 1 large onion, sliced fine
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil / butter, separated
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • Hamburger rolls
  • cheese slices such as American or Cheddar
  • ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, etc..

In a 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil / butter. Add the sliced onion, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar.

Let caramelize over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat, then the red onions. Cook the red onions for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and thyme, and stir for 2 minutes

Take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the onion mixture, beef, egg, soy sauce, salt and pepper. This works best using your hands. This can be prepared 1 day ahead. From into a ball, dive into 2, then into 4. Then divide in half each quarter. You will now have 8 pieces.  

In the same skillet, add the last tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Take each piece of burger, flatten it with your hands, and add to the skillet. Repeat with the other pieces. Don’t overcrowd the pan. I like my hamburger patties very thin, but you can shape them into thicker pieces if you prefer.

Fry for a few minutes on each side. Meanwhile, cut the hamburger buns in half, and put them under the broiler with the inside facing up for 1 minute. Add the hamburger meat to it, top it with cheese. Close the burger so the meat stays warm. Serve immediately with the condiments on the side. Don’t forget to add the caramelized onion.

Oven French Fries

Serves 8 – Adapted from Everyday Food magazine, January-February 2011

  • 6 large russet potatoes (3 pounds), cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus extra for baking sheets
  • salt and pepper

Add the potatoes to a large bowl and cover it with water by 2 inches. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F, with 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Lightly coat two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray, or spread a drizzle of oil with your fingers.

 Drain the potatoes and dry them well with a clean kitchen towel. Add them to the dry large bowl. Drizzle the oil on top, and add salt and pepper. Toss well.

Divide potatoes between sheets and make sure that they’re in a single layer. Bake in oven until golden and crisp, about 30 to 45 minutes. I would start checking at 20 minutes. Toss potatoes and rotate sheets and bake an additional 5 – 15 minutes until golden and crisp. 

Cabbage and Red Pepper Salad with Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette

Serves 6 – Adapted from cooking at Home with America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1/2 medium head red or green cabbage, shredded (1 pound)
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice or sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips

You need to start by salting the cabbage. Put the cabbage in a colander, sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt on it, toss and let it strain over a medium bowl for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.This makes the cabbage more tender. When done, rinse it under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels by pressing, but do not squeeze.

Next make the vinaigrette then toss everything together. In a medium bow, add the lime zest, lime juice, vinegar, honey, oil, cumin, and cayenne. Stir the dressing, then add the red pepper and cabbage. Taste to see if it needs salt. You can cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. It is best served on the day it is made, but it also keeps well for several days.

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