Monday, July 30, 2007

Un-Yucky Veggie Burgers

This weekend Fellow Traveler and I threw a party -- invited a bunch of people to a professional fast-pitch softball game in a nearby city, then treated guests to grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on the patio of the City Home. We had been under the impression that at least a couple of the party-goers were vegetarian, so I poured over Google entries for veggie burger recipes until I found one that looked promising, and whipped up a small batch just to keep everyone happy.

But interestingly, when we offered our diners the option of a vegetarian burger, we got pretty much the same reaction from the crowd as if we'd polled a kindergarten class on their enjoyment of canned spinach. And that's too bad, because our leftover veggie burgers were really, really good; I think better than most of the ready-made brands I've had.

Tofu Burgers
1 package (14 oz. or so) firm tofu, very well drained and pressed (I pressed it between layers of paper towels, using a heavy piece of kitchen equipment, for about a half hour, changing the towels as necessary)
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup or so shredded carrots
2 TBS or so red bell pepper, diced fine
1/4 cup mushrooms, diced (optional)
1/4 cup or so mashed potato flakes
2 TBS tamari or other soy sauce
2 tsp sweet chili sauce, or a moderate shake of red pepper flakes, or a dash of Tabasco
several generous shakes of Montreal Steak seasoning, or seasoned salt and freshly ground pepper

Crumble tofu in bowl. Saute onions, garlic, pepper and mushrooms in a small bit of oil until veggies are limp and transparent but not brown; add to tofu along with carrots, potatoes, tamari and seasonings.

Form into six patties (which will be on the soft side); fry or contact-grill until browned on both sides.

The measurements are approximations, and you can certainly add or subtract ingredients as you choose. I'm thinkin', for instance, that a tablespoon of miso or mushroom concentrate or other savory/salty flavoring would be a great addition. So go have fun with it.

1 comment:

LutherPunk said...

Having spent a couple of years as a vegetarian, I always found that freezing and then thawing tofu really helped a lot with its texture, providing it with a more "meaty" feel. Give it a try next time you make these.