One thing my Todd has always wanted to do is to go to a diner to eat. You know . . . just like the ones on the telly that you see in all those American movies.
All chrome and formica . . . and juke boxes, waitresses named Sally, and a coffee cup that has no bottom.
Club sandwiches, gravy fries and mile high pies.
I thought I would try to recreate a Diner meal for him here at home tonight, but in as low fat as possible. One of my favourites back home use to be the Hot Hamburger Sandwich Platter.
A big oval platter, loaded up with hot fries, a huge hamburger pattie on a toasted bun, with oodles of gravy slathered over top and a small bucket of coleslaw on the side. Washed down with an ice cold soda pop. It can't be beat!
It might not be much to look at, but what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in flavour. I used extra lean ground steak, which I flavoured with onion powder, garlic, seasoning salt and black pepper . . . lots of onion and garlic. I then divided the meat into four equal shapes and then flattened them as thin as I could into a huge flat irregular sized burgers, so they had lots of little nooks and crannies on the edges.
Because they were really thin, they cooked in quick time and all the moisture stayed inside the burger, so they were moist as well as flavourful, with a nice sear on the outside. The chips . . . why oven baked of course, and cut so thin that they also turned out nicely browned with crisp golden edges.
You can make your own pan gravy if you wish. (I tell you how) or you can just open a tin of beef gravy. Me, I opted for Bisto, coz there is not much fat in it., and it's as easy as boiling the kettle.
Even the coleslaw, my own homemade, was low in fat . . . as I used a fat free mayo and low fat creme fraiche. The only thing I didn't do was to put on a short dress and ask him to "kiss ma grits!" (I also didn't ask for a tip!) Oh, and there was no pie . . . sigh . . .
*Hot Hamburger Platter Dinner*
It's diner food for the UK! A delicious well flavoured hot hamburger patty on a toasted bun half, topped with gravy and served with crispy fries and coleslaw!
1 pound extra lean minced steak
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS onion powder
1 tsp seasoned salt
5 TBS flour
1 litre of beef broth
4 large baking potatoes
seasonings for the fries (I like the smoked paprika, sweet red pepper and thyme mix from M&S)
salt and black pepper
Toasted Bun halves
Coleslaw, your own or purchased (See my recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 225*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Have ready a large baking sheet.
Wash the potatoes and dry well. Cut into thin chips. Toss them onto the baking sheet. Pour about 1 TBS of oil over top along with some of your chosen seasoning and some salt and black pepper. Toss together with your hands. Place into the heated oven and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Mix together the minced steak, garlic, onion powder, seasoned salt and a bit of salt and lots of black pepper to taste. (You can pinch off a little bit and fry it in a pan to see if you have the seasoning correct if you wish.) Shape into large flat irregular shaped patties.
Place a large skillet over mediium high heat. Add a bit of oil and fry the patties until well browned on both sides and cooked through. Remove and keep warm. Reserve any drippings in the pan. There probably won't be much. You will need about 4 TBS. You can add some butter to the pan drippings to make this up. Once the fat is melted and hot, stir in the flour, whisking it in well. Slowly whisk in the broth a bit at a time, whisking until the gravy thickens. Simmer for several minutes then taste and adjust seasoning as required.
Divide the fries between 4 heated plates. Place a toasted bun half on each and top with a burger. Spoon over some of the gravy, making sure it covers the burger and some of the chips. Serve with coleslaw on the side. Enjoy!
This isn't the greatest photograph, but it is a coleslaw recipe that I use often. This is how my mom always made it.
Serves 8 to 10
A delciously cream coleslaw that has just the right amount of crunch and flavour! There is no sogginess here!!
10 ounces of white cabbage, trimmed, cored and very thinly cut
(about 1/2 of a medium cabbage)
5 ounces of carrots, peeled, trimmed and juilienned
(1 medium carrot)
4 inches of an English Cucumber, trimmed, seeded and cut into small dice
(Do not peel)
2 - 3 large dessertspoons of good quality mayonnaise
1 TBS of Dijon mustard
2 TBS white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp celery salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder
Place the vegetables into a large bowl. Whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, sugar, celery salt, black pepper and onion powder. Mix well. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.
Note - the amount of mayonnaise you use depends on the cabbage, some cabbages take more mayonnaise than others. It also depends on how creamy you like your coleslaw!