Veggies on the counter

Adzuki Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Burgers

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on February 5, 2011

Today, I have some apologies to make. Firstly, I apologize for not being around here in the last couple of days: in fact, my semester ended yesterday and, to cure the tireness of a pretty hectic week, I had a twelve-hour sleep (yes, you read well) and now I feel really refreshed and brand new. The second apology has to due with the fact that I have another burger recipe to share with you.

I’ve made these burgers last week and was quite surprised with how they came out: the burgers were tasty, had a great texture and after being pan-fried they  really got a nice crispy outside and a chewy inside. As far their taste goes, it’s  toasty and grainy (thanks to the millet), as well as salty and tangy because of the sun-dried tomatoes. I suspect you could replace the adzuki beans for black beans, but on the other hand, canned ones won’t probably work out in here: canned beans tend to be to soft and mushy, and you really want your beans not to be overcooked. On the other hand, you could play a bit with the herbs in here: thyme and chives were what I had on hand, but using fresh basil instead would be a great substitution. Wish you all a great weekend, and I promise I’ll come back very soon with some more veggie love to share. ; )

Adzuki Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Burgers

(makes 6 burgers)

195 grams (1 cup) millet

750 ml (3 cups) water

½ teaspoon salt

60 grams (about 12 halves) dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes

½ teaspoon salt

400 grams (1 ¾ cups) cooked adzuki beans

4 large garlic cloves, peeled

5 tablespoons plus 3 olive oil

freshly grated black pepper

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried chives

1. In a dry skillet over medium-heat, toast the millet for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until it turns golden brown and starts smelling toasty.

2. Transfer the toasted millet to a pan filled with 750 ml (3 cups) water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to low-medium, add ½ teaspoon salt and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, or until all the water has been absorved and the millet is cooked through. Remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit at room temperature.

3. In the meantine, put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl filled with hot water (1 cup – 250 ml – should be enough). Cover, and let the sun-dried tomatoes rehydrate for 15 minutes. Drain them and coarsely chop them. Set aside.

4. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic cloves with a pinch of salt. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 5 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the crushed garlic and salt mixture and fry until golden brown – 4 to 5 minutes. Let the garlic cool to room temperature.

5. In a food processor, process 2 cups of the cooked millet, ½ cup of the cooked adzuki beans, the fried garlic and the oil, the dried thyme and chives, black pepper, and half of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Process for 2 minutes, or until a thick purée comes together. Have a taste and season with a little more salt if needed.

6. Add the remaining adzuki beans and sun-dried tomatoes to the purée and pulse no more than 2 or 3 times – you want the burgers to have some texture, so these ingredients only need to be broken down a bit. The mixture should now be thick and easy enough to handle and shape.

7. Lightly oil your hands and divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Shape into patties the size of your hand palm.

8. In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the burgers when the oil is hot, and pan fry them  for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, only turning them once. Serve hot with your favorite ingredients or as shown in the picture bellow.

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Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on January 21, 2011

 

I have bookmarked Louisa Shafia’s Beet Burgers a long time ago, and never really got the chance to make them. The other day, while flipping through my notebook, I found the said recipe, that I’ve spotted on her blog and immediately did a quick annotation of the ingredients list to make it. But then, some other plans have crossed my mind and the recipe remained written, but untested. So, this week, having a couple of extra-large beetroot sitting on the fridge, I finally gave Louisa’s burgers a try. And after bitting into one of them, I kept asking myself why haven’t I made the burgers sooner – not only they have the perfect texture and right consistency, but are also packed with flavor. In one word: delicious.

Now, I know there’s a lot of you out there who don’t like beetroot. Some of you, might even hate the poor vegetable. But even with beetroot haters like my mum, the burgers were a huge hit. Now that I think about it I realize they actually don’t taste to beetroot that much – the addition of nuts, caramelized onion, and some spices, not only gives them texture and crunch, but also a delicious, kind of  hearty taste, that somehow balances out the natural sweetness of the beetroot. I’ve made a couple tweaks to the original recipe though: substituted the walnuts called for in the original version for a mix of nuts and seeds, and instead of baking the burgers and searing them as suggested, I managed to save some time up by pan-frying them straight away without sacrificing texture – in the end, you still get a well-cooked inside and crunchy outside, the basic requirements for a perfect burger. I’m sure I’ll be making these again, and maybe next time, experimenting with different grains – substituing the brown rice for millet, for example.

Beetroot and Brown Rice Burgers

(makes 6 burgers)

1/4 cup of EACH: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and cashew nuts

2 cups grated beetroot (from approximately 1 large beetroot)

1 1/2 cups COOKED brown rice

1 large white onion, sliced into rings

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoons ground cumin

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoons salt

1. After grating the beetroot, place them in a colander and squeeze out all the liquid. Discard the liquid and set aside. Alternatively, you can use the liquid – like I did – to make a juice and/or a smoothie.

2. Heat a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook, stirring often, for at least 10 minutes, or until the onion starts browning and caramelizing. While the onion is cooking, add the paprika and ground cumin to the pan, as well as a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. In a large food processor, add the cooked rice, 1 cup of the grated beetroot and 1 teaspoon of salt, and process for about 2 minutes, or until it has the consistency of a thick puree. This will work as a binder.

4. Add the cooked onion and all the different nuts and seeds to the food processor and pulse no more than 3 times. You want the burgers to have some texture and crunch, so this mixture only needs to be broken down a bit.

5. Add the puree to the remaining 1 cup of grated beetroot and mix well until incorporated. Have  a taste and salt a bit more, if needed be. The mixture should be thick and easy enough to handle and shape into patties.

6. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. With your hands, form round patties that are about 8 centimeters in diameter and 1 centimeter thick. At this point, you can keep the burgers refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and cook them within that time.

7. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the burgers. Pan-fry them for at least 6 minutes on each side, turning them only once.

8. Serve the burgers right after cooking with your favorite fixings. I’ve topped mine with chutney and lots of fresh parsley.

adapted from Lucid Food