May 21, 2009 by Sarojini Seupersad
I know. It’s weird that I’m posting a recipe on my blog about NYC culture and events. But really, what is NY without amazing, interesting food? Huh? I ask you!
This recipe got raves reviews and everyone wanted it from me, so I posted on my facebook…and I’ll share it with you all now.
Fabulous Veggie Burgers
The burgers are so so easy…and this recipe is how I make them but it’s more like a guideline rather than a steadfast rule. You can pretty much improvise and experiment. If there is an ingredient you don’t like, you can omit it. And you can add whatever vegetables you prefer. Sometimes I add wild rice or peas. Whatever. It’s up to you. The ingredients that should always be there: mushrooms, walnuts and black-eyed peas. In my opinion, those basic ingredients make up the “meat” of the burger. But you can use chick peas if you don’t like black-eyed peas. That will give it more of a falafel taste. Whatever floats your boat.
1 can of black eyed peas
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package of porcini mushrooms, chopped
1 egg, beaten (or egg replacer for vegans)
1 cup cake flour (I like Presto)
breadcrumbs or panko
1 zucchini – grated
1 carrot – grated
1/2 tablespoon cumin to taste (add more or less to your liking)
salt & pepper
crushed raw walnuts – about a handful
chili powder or hot sauce
any other spices you like
dash of olive oil
vegetable oil – for frying
Mash one can of black-eyed peas in a mixing bowl (drain first). Add one small chopped onion, cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper or whatever spices you like. You like chinese 5 spice? Heck, add that too…they’re YOUR burgers. Sometimes a dash of nutmeg is great, too.
Meanwhile, toast some raw crushed walnuts in a pan in a touch of olive oil, till they’re browned. Add those to the mix. Chop and saute a package of porcini or cremini mushrooms in a little extra virgin olive oil till browned. Do not salt. This releases water and they will become mushy. You want them to stay nice and firm and fry up a bit. Add those to the mixture as well. You can choose whatever mushrooms you like, but the meatier the better. I like porcini. Really like mushrooms? Add more! Add TONS of cumin, a dash of tumeric, and about a teaspoon of curry powder. If you don’t like curry, don’t add it. Add chili powder and a dash of hot sauce if you like it a bit spicey.
Grate a zucchini. Squeeze out the excess water with a paper towel or squeeze it over the sink in your hand. That works the best. You just want to get the excess water out of the zucchini. Add it to the mix. Grate a carrot. Add to the mix. Then add the beaten egg (or egg replacer to keep it vegan) and mix. Batter should be wet. Add the cake flour and mix. Sometimes you need more cake flour and you can add as much as you need. Also, add about a cup of breadcrumbs and mix. When you’re done, the mix should be thick and much drier. If you need more breadcrumbs, feel free. You don’t want the batter too wet. At this point, taste the batter and add any spice you think it may need. The flour can sometimes make it bland, so check for taste.
Once the batter is the right consistency, grab a large spoonful of the batter, roll into balls, then shape into patties. Place some breadcrumbs in a dish. Coat each patty with a thick layer of breadcrumbs. I just place the patty in the breadcrumbs and swish them about. 😉 You want both sides fully coated.
In a hot frying pan, heat some vegetable oil. Place the coated burgers in the pan until browned and crispy on both sides. The burgers will “grow” a little, so make enough room. If the breadcrumbs soak up the oil and the pan begins to get dry, just add more oil.
This recipe keeps VERY well. If you want to form the patties and store them uncooked for later, you can. Just line the burgers in wax paper or something to keep them from sticking. They freeze well, too. Sometimes I make the batter a day in advance, and shape the patties the next day. This is good, too because the flavors get a chance to blend together.
Ok, I hope you try this and like it. They really are very delicious and my sister demands I make them at least once a week.