29 April 2009

nut burgers

I was in the kitchen at 10 in the morning, waiting for the teapot to steam. I opened the Bittman book to a random page to pass the time. And I instantly saw something that looked strange, yet intriguing, and I felt compelled to whip it together for a test run for that lunch. Sinking my teeth into this burger o' nuts was pure, incredulous heaven. I can't believe how good it tastes, and Nick (begrudgingly) admitted he'd give it at least three stars (I think it's more like four stars, plus worthy of inclusion on the List for its ease of preparation and its startling flavor). Without further ado, the recipe for "nut burgers."

Fast Nut Burgers

Note: Mark writes, "If you have a food processor, these take almost no time, making them perfect for lunch or a fast dinner."

Further note: For my test run, I halved the recipe, but included the full egg and the full 2 T of ketchup for moistness. Also, I refrigerated the mixture for a couple of hours and didn't bother to bring it back to room temp before frying it up.

1 medium onion
1 c walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, or other nuts, preferably raw (I did a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and cashews)
1 c raw rolled oats or cooked short-grain white or brown rice (I did the oats, which were awesome)
2 T ketchup, miso, tomato paste, nut butter, or tahini (I thought about experimenting, and then just did the ketchup.... mmm, can't go wrong with ketchup)
1 t chili powder or any spice mimx you like, or to taste (chili powder gave a good but subtle kick)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
2 T peanut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

Grind the onion in a food processor. (Note: Our blender worked okay, but it would be best to chop up everything before hand and then puree it together in the blender.) Add the nuts and oats and pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add the ketchup, spice mix, salt, pepper, and egg. Process briefly; don't grind the mixture too finely (the results will not be terrible, but a little tougher, if you do so). Add a little liquid -- water, stock, soy sauce, wine, whatever is handy -- if necessary; you want a mixture that is moist but not loose.

Let the mixture rest for a few minutes if you have the time (I refrigerated it for a while), then shape it into 4 or 6 patties. (You can make the burger mixture or even shape the burgers up to a day or so in advance. Just cover tightly and refrigerate, then bring everything back to room temperature before cooking.) Put the oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the burgers to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, more or less undisturbed (you may want to rotate the patties for even browning), then turn. Lower the heat a bit and cook on the other side 3 or 4 minutes more, or until firm.

Serve on plates with any accompaniments, or on buns with the usual burger fixings. Or cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use. (Note: I thought they were so delicious on their own, I just ate them plain with only a toasted, buttered bun. Nick, of course, put some salsa on his.)

Recipe from Mark Bittman (2007), "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian."

1 comment:

Aeve said...

Looks wonderful, can't wait to try this. Thank you!