Not exactly a White Castle Burger

One of the menu items for my recent 24, 24, 24 submission was an ode to White Castle burgers, at least that’s where the inspiration started. Since White Castle originated in Ohio, this seemed a fun menu item to throw into the mix as the Midwest’s representative.

First, I researched what all went into those little burgers. I remember how much I loved them while visiting Missouri. I can still picture the perfect little bread squares, the thin oniony patty and how moist it all was. From that memory, I knew I wanted to mimic the moist patty and the onion topping. I needed to decide on the bread.

I found suggestions to use hot dog buns cut in half, but I wanted more. This was the Midwest; corn is big there, isn’t it? So first I thought of cornbread, then I was hit by the lightbulb. Corn Fritters. Oh yeah. A new burger was born.

Note: This was an 8-course meal I was preparing for, so I made the onions and fried the corn pancakes ahead of time. You can do the same. Also, I served these open-faced–with a pancake at the bottom only, you decide if you want to sandwich them or not.

Burgers on Corn Pancakes with Caramelized Onions

For the Burgers:
1 lb. ground sirloin (use good quality meat)
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsps extra virgin olive oil

Drop all the ingredients except for the beef into your blender and liquify, then add the mixture to the beef. Mix it in by hand and shape into balls just slightly larger than a golf ball. Set aside in your fridge until ready to cook.

When you’re ready to serve them, heat a medium-sized skillet until smoky. Drop 2 or 3 of the meatballs, leaving enough room between them. Flatten them out and cook for a few minutes on either side. Once you’ve flipped them, top it with one of the cooked corn pancakes. This will allow the flavor of the beef to permeate the pancake. Remove from the skillet, top with the onions before serving.

For the Caramelized Onions:
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp brow sugar
3 tbsps sherry (or cooking wine)
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

I used my mandolin to slice the onions. I love my mandolin, it makes my life beautiful and easy when I’m facing tasks such as this one. It made slicing that onion a breeze, it took me less than 5 minutes to end up with theseĀ beautiful slices.

Heat up a saute pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter until it melts. Then add the onions and cook them until they begin to soften.

Add the sugar, this will help caramelize the onions, browning them. Once they have browned, add the sherry and vinegar. Cook until it evaporates. Check and adjust seasoning as desired. Use to top the burger patties.

For the Corn Pancakes:
3 ears of corn, shucked (aboutĀ 1-1/2 cups)
2 tbsps butter, melted
2 eggs
3 ozs whole milk
1/2 cp cheese (like Gouda, Emmentaler)
1/3 cp flour
1/2 cp coarse yellow cornmeal
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
Oil for frying

After you’ve removed the kernels from the cob, add all the ingredients except the cheese and oil Ā to your blender or food processor. Blitz it just a couple of times, you want it to be chunky. Then mix in the cheese by hand.

In a nonstickĀ skillet, heat up enough oil to fry the pancakes, you want it to be about 1/4 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium high heat and drop the corn batter using a 1/4 cp measuring laddle or cup. Brown it on both sides, it will take about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove and keep warm.

Putting it all together:Ā After topping the patty with one of the pancakes and allowing the pancake to heat through on the skillet, invert it onto the plate. If serving open-face: top the patty with a dollop of onions. If planning to sandwich it, place the second pancake over the patty, then top with the onions.

These are AMAZING. Do enjoy.
Cookingly yours,


Potato, Potahto

Not really a vegetable, more of a root or tuber, but definitely a great ingredient for side dishes. I love to combine them with bacon of course, onions and butter. In no particular order.

This is one of my favorite ways to put them together. Quick, easy and delicious.

Onion Potato Casserole

5 medium potatoes, peeled
1/2 large sweet onion (a 1015 or similar)
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Slice the potatoes into very thin slices. If you have a mandolin, use the #2 setting. While you work on the onions, submerge the potatoes in cool water to avoid oxidation.

Do the same with the onions, slice them into very thin slices. Separate the onion rings and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375Ā°. Generously butter an ovenproof dish, I used a pie pan. Make sure the butter covers the bottom and sides of the dish. Begin layering the potatoes and onions. First, a single a layer of potatoes, try not to overlap them too much.

Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, then add another layer of potatoes and onions, finishing with potatoes.

On the last layer, top with salt & pepper, then drizzle the olive oil evenly.

Cover with foil paper and bake it for 20 minutes. A the end of that time, remove the foil, raise the oven’s temperature to 400Ā°Ā and bake for another 15 minutes.

Check out the pretty colors.

Onion Brown Butter Sauce

This was pretty easy to make, took me all of 5-7 minutes from beginning to tableside. I used it to bring some turkey back to life, but I bet it would work with any poultry or vegetable.

Here’s how: Heat up a pan and addĀ 2 tbsps extra virgin olive, addĀ 1 cp finely diced onions and cook until translucent and beginning to brown. Remove the onions from the pan.

In the same pan add 1/2 cp butter and melt over medium heat; once melted it will begin to foam, keep stirring and the foam will begin to brown. Make sure you don’t allow it to burn, though, keep your eye on it.Ā  Add the onions, stir. Then add 1/2 cp vermouth or white wine, you can flame this to burn out the alcohol, or just cook it for a few more minutes.

This rocks over turkey AND over mashed potatoes.