Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meatless Month: Day 5

Again, no photos for this post, but the meal is definitely worth writing about.  We were invited over to a friend's house for a birthday cookout/dinner.  I decided to bring along some vegetarian burgers to grill, as my friend was providing lots and lots of chicken but nothing vegetarian.

I used a recipe from a friend for homemade veggie burgers and they came out better than I had imagined.  I'm not opposed to the Morningstar and Garden Burger brand frozen patties, but these were so much better, and not much more difficult to make.  Although I doubled the recipe for the party to make eight burgers, here's my recipe for a single batch, modified from my friend's directions:

Kidney Bean Burgers
1 13 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 small onion, grated
about 1/2 cup grated cheese - I used a sharp Cheddar
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
any other seasonings you like - I used Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning.  More about that later.

Place the beans in a medium sized bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well and form into four patties.  If they're not sticking together well enough for you, add more breadcrumbs.  Coat the patties lightly with flour and then fry in a bit of vegetable oil, or you could grill them, which is what I did.  They came out nice and crisp on the outside and were substantial, hearty, and delicious.  I served them on toasted potato rolls and had mine with a touch of sour cream   Sour cream is not a usual condiment on my burgers, but everyone was eating baked potatoes, and it was handy, so I thought I'd try it on my burger and it was pretty good.

Note that these patties are both delicate and quite sticky.  I'd form a patty and then wrap it in waxed paper.  I actually put my patties in the freezer for about half an hour before we left, too, so they'd firm up and be easier to handle.  If you grill them, make sure you oil the grill before you put them on, as they're prone to sticking.

Penzey's probably deserves a post of its own, eventually, but I'll tell you about Northwoods seasoning.  I order a bunch of herbs and spices through Penzey's website a few times a year.  Their quality and prices are outstanding, and they always include a free 1 ounce sample jar with every order.  One of my recent orders included Northwoods seasoning, which is a blend of salt, paprika, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and chipotle.  It was perfect in these burgers and would probably be delicious added to hamburgers, too.

Mr. Hungry really liked these burgers and said they were just as satisfying as a beef burger.  All the party guests who tried them enjoyed them, too.  Another successful meatless meal that will be added into my regular rotation.

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