Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thai-Knee Burgers

Still cleaning out the pantry and fridge!  It makes you realize how much is in there!  9-foot tall pantry, 6-feet wide... that's a lotta food (and tupperware).  I miss the variety of fresh vegetables but I've still got frozen and a couple of random stragglers in the fridge.  Today's concoction is finally straying away from the cumin/coriander/chili blend of late and breaking new flavor ground.  I have a large jar of peanut butter (natural chunky) which rocks my world.  Every time I  add some to my breakfast, an extra tablespoon always ends up being consumed on the spot.   The stuff is fantastic!  I used to only get the ground stuff you could make yourself at the co-op but then I read one of those propaganda articles (convincing though) about how that's the worst thing to be eating because of some mold or bacteria that happens in peanuts when they sit around forever... sigh... I miss that machine because I felt like I had power... With the flick of a switch I was crushing their heads and out would ooze this sloppy, brown, soft-serve looking goop that always made me giggle.

Alas, my sense of power and control will forever be maintained through making small food.  I have a not-so-secret obsession with being a giant, so little things really give me a thrill [insert "that's what she said joke" here].  These burgers are on the Thai end of the flavor spectrum.  It started with 'what can I do with peanut butter...' and ended up being this pretty interesting sounding recipe!  You could probably use any fully cooked grain (I hear bulgur calling!), but millet is what I had leftover from the Taco Bake-oh so that's what shall be used.  Peas aren't traditionally in Thai food at all (thanks Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Thai_ingredients ) but I don't have any eggplant or anything else.  Plus, the little pellets of green look so good!!

Being broke, I also found a recipe for '40-minute hamburger buns' (I'll test that time limit!) and I'm serving with some chopped up pineapple and lime juice for sweet n' tangy and no doubt perfect pairing.

IMPORTANT NOTES!!!
1- The millet HAS TO BE COLD!  If you have to make it prior to putting together this recipe, then make the millet first (before buns), put millet in the freezer for a half hour or so.  I strongly recommend if doing this to go for the thinnest possible layer you can spread on a cookie sheet or pan or whatever... or just the outsides will be cool and the insides not so much.
2- KEEP THE PEAS FROZEN.  This too will help maintain the consistency.
3- Wipe out the pan in between each cooking session... Use a paper towel or a regular clean towel.  It'll be fine...

12/6 servings (mini/average burgers), 160 calories per serving (at 6-patty measurements)
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/40-Minute-Hamburger-Buns bread buns-- I made them into about 24 mini-buns so approximately 100 calories each.  How do I make them vegan? Just don't put in that egg.  Simple.  If that makes you nervous, you can do the 1 TBS flaxmeal + 3 TBS h20 mix or use egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg.  THE LOOKED AWESOME!  So cute and fluffy!!!!  So easy!  No egg :)
Pineapple: 1/2 cup has 60 calories.  I'm using Dole's Chunky variety that I smooshed with a fork in a cup and then strained over a bowl.

For ultimate time-saving, get the buns baking first!  (Or the millet!  See important note above)

CONTENTS

1 cup cooked and COLD millet
1/4 cup [chunky] peanut butter or smooth with 1 TBS chopped peanuts.  Yum.
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup peas
as much zest as you can get from 1 lime
juice from half a lime
Reserved juice from pressed coconut/lime topping (see optional note below).  I ended up with about 1/2 cup since the can had extra liquid in it.
OR...!!!
1/4-1/2 cup milk--ideally, use coconut milk, but I'm sure anything would be good.  All we have in the coconut milk department of the pantry has been pre-vanilla'ed, and I'm ok with that because I don't find it to be that strong an addition.
1 TBS chopped up jarred jalapenos, or 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBS sesame/canola oil
1 TBS oyster sauce (yes, there's vegan oyster sauce http://www.foodfightgrocery.com/vegetarian-oyster-sauce-527 )
2 TBS toasted unsweetened coconut + 1 tsp additional per burger as a topping, if desired.

* Additional milk or some flour may or may not be required to achieve desired consistency.  I have garbanzo flour which isn't required but so much more fun that AP.

FASCIST DIRECTIONS


1. If you don't have leftover millet, make that.  Then, prepare those buns! I won't tell you again!

1.5 Make the coconut-lime topping, directions in optional note below.

2. In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter, garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, sesame oil, oyster sauce, coconut-lime juice from pressed topping and coconut milk.

3. Add the jalapenos and peas, mix well.

4. Add the millet and mix really well, until a what seems to be the perfect consistency of wet/dry arises (TWSS)

5. Mix in the 2 TBS toasted coconut.

5.5 On parchment paper, measure out 12 equal amounts for mini burgers, 6 for grown-ups not obsessed with miniatures, and shape into patty form.  You could shape yours into hearts like I did because I'm a dork.  I'd shape them into coconuts but that's not any different from your standard burger patty shape...

6. Heat up a frying pan over medium and toast more coconut at this point if you need to make more

7. Add 1 tsp sesame oil and fill out with cooking spray and heat up.

8. Transfer two patties at a time to the hot pan and cook about 5 minutes each side.  I tend to keep my heat on the lower end of medium because it just gets TOO hot and the spray or oil around the patty burns and creates a smokey mess.  Set aside when done on the blank spot on the parchment paper.

Optional: since the pineapple chunks were chunky, I roughly smashed them in a bowl (1 cup pineapple) and added the other 1/2 of the lime's juice.  Mixed it in a bowl and then pressed it in a sieve, reserving the liquid to add to the burger mixture.

To serve: put patty on bun, top with pineapple-lime, close bun, enjoy!  I'm also adding 1 tsp of toasted coconut on top of the pineapple-lime since it's delicious.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Greetings!

Herein lies my first attempt at blogging so people don't have to go to my site, the site will go to them.

Greetings!

Hello!

Welcome!  Since myspace crashed and burned, I'm going to try and use this site
to post recipes I create and/or make...  Though I cook practically every night, half
of the time I make them up, the other half come from awesome books by Isa
Chandra Moskowitz or Donna Klein (we're not worthy!) or vegetariantimes,
allrecipes, etc..... where was I going with that? Ah yes, though I cook a LOT, I am
also super duper busy with work so to "blog" would require a 25th hour.  I will try
to post at least 2 recipes a week, I think I can commit to that!  I will try to post
pictures too, since it makes a big difference in first impressions.  

The name for the cooking blog comes from our lifestyle as vegans... Going back,
Rod has been a vegetarian for 14 years, myself for 10; we made the complete
transfer over to veganism in 2007.  It's been incredible!  It opens your eyes to
what's in your food... when you scan labels for dairy and meat, you tend to pick
up on all the crap that gets snuck in.  For example, discovering that Pizza Hut
chicken products all contain fish.  See, though I don't eat it anyway, it still grosses
me out.  Don't believe me?  Check out what else lurks in their food:
That's one trick by the way, is to look up allergens, or claim lactose intolerance. 
Though one look at us and they know we have funny diets... teehee...

Anways, enough with today's rambling, let's get to cooking!