Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Perfect Burger

OK, maybe not perfect, but as good as it's going to get. I realized from my Veganomicon chickpea cutlet and black bean burger experience that I was being a weenie with the high gluten flour in my previous attempts. 2 tbsp? Not even close! So, I upped the flour, added bread crumbs and some chickpeas, and changed the method a bit. The result? A pretty darn tasty burger that has a nice firm texture. These burgers in the pic were made without soy sauce since my father in law must have a no salt diet, so the patties do not have that "burger look" they had when I tried to make burgers before. Even without the salt they were good.

Makes 8 thin, or 6 thick, patties
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, small dice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup TVP
- 2 tbsp instant tapioca
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp HP sauce (optional)
- 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, finely mashed
- 1/2 cup high gluten flour
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about 5 mins.
2. Add in spices and fry for 1 min. Add in TVP and tapioca and mix well.
3. Add in water, soy sauce, and HP sauce (if using). Stir until all water is absorbed and TVP is soft. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and let cool. (I put mine in the freezer and stirred it every few mins to speed up the process).
4. Once TVP mixture is cooled, mix in chickpeas, then flour and bread crumbs. Knead for a few mins until it all comes together.
5. Form into patties (I like to press it into a metal ring for perfect burgers) and fry in a small amount of oil over medium heat for 5 mins per side.