burger time!

Did any of you ever play Burger Time?
It was an old arcade game I used to play as a kid that I recently rediscovered in an arcade. You are a chef who is trying to stack burgers, but certain ingredients--chili peppers and eggs!--keep trying to get you. It's a fun game, but, as with all those old arcade games, it is hard and unforgiving.

Unlike real burger-making! I don't find it so hard to avoid chili peppers or eggs in my burgers. We don't eat burgers that often, but I find I've been stockpiling pictures of them, so I figured I'd have one big burger post!

My favorite burger recipes come from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. While some of his recipes call for eggs, he always provides a vegan version. His recipes are simple, and very forgiving. For instance, he has a recipe for burgers made from corn, but I was out of corn, so I substituted frozen peas.
It still made adorable burgers!

He also has a recipe for autumn burgers that I thiiiink call for sweet potatoes instead of beets? But once I was out of sweet potatoes, so I made them with beets and they were tasty.
For me, it's not a burger if it's not on some sort of bread. Above you can see I used part of a baguette, but I really like making buns for the burgers!
I almost always make my own; my pizza crust recipe will give you sixish rolls, and the ones you don't use freeze well.
To get them big and puffy like the ones above (note that the first picture of rolls is slightly flatter), I toss in an extra Tbsp or so of gluten, and make sure I leave plenty of time for rising.

This batch was great; I used 1/4 chickpea flour, 1/4 whole wheat flour, and 1/2 all-purpose flour, with a couple tablespoons of gluten. That way it rose, but we got extra protein and fiber!
The texture and taste weren't any different from a wheat roll.

Anyway, back to the burgers. Mark Bittman also has a really simple nut burger recipe. In the cookbook he adds that to make a vegan version, use the miso and/or nut butter instead of the ketchup or tomato paste, and add a little extra liquid, and you don't miss the egg at all. True! I've tried that recipe with pecans for pecan burgers:
...and with walnuts for paler walnut burgers:
...and both were great. The best part is that each recipe makes at least 4 burgers, and one is quite filling, so I can freeze the leftovers.

DId you notice the roasted celeriac fries in the walnut burger picture above? I love having some sort of "fry" with my burger. I think fries and salad are the best burger accompaniments, so I try to have both every time I have a burger.
For example, this pecan burger got roasted zucchini fries, which were a little limp but quite tasty.
This portobello burger has white (Japanese) sweet potato fries, which I first coated in cornstarch to get them crispy. It worked really well!

FInally, that old processed standby: the boca burger! Because once in a while it's a great relief just to take dinner out of a box.
With sweet potato fries. At least I fried up some mushrooms and onions to go on top... that's not out of a box! Normally my toppings are just lettuce and avocado if I have it.

Do you like burgers? What toppings do you prefer? What sides do you eat with them?


Bridget said... Best Blogger Tips

how are sweet potatoes in your area? i had them in CA and NY and they were really mealy and flavorless. totally makes me sad because they are (were) a staple of my diet

Sarah P said... Best Blogger Tips

They're good! I'm been impressed with the availability of different kinds (we shop at Harvest Co-op, which probably helps, since the produce section is probably perused by a lot of foodies). Maybe that's your problem--different varieties are cheaper than others, and grocery stores probably go for the cheapest... but I bet the cheapest ones are cheap for a reason!

But ugh, I'd be sad if I couldn't get sweet potatoes anymore. (On the other hand, don't you have awesome access to avocados? They can be so disappointing out here.)

Bridget said... Best Blogger Tips

nah we generally hit up either whole foods or the farmer's markets out here (which are phenomenal)

for whatever reason i've just been having super bad luck with sweet potatoes lately.

we do have supposedly awesome avocados. i haven't tried reintroducing them into my diet yet, it's a sloooow process figuring out what is high-histamine/high salycite.

Bridget said... Best Blogger Tips

oh just to be clear since my comment wasn't super clear, this is a recent thing...i've heard overall that we're heading into a particularly bad produce season, which is actually why i was asking. it's something that has me super nervous :/

Tt in nyc said... Best Blogger Tips

I just had to agree with your mark bittman love- his recipes taught me how to cook and how to be a better cook, hes never steered me wrong- after i made his carrot miso salad dressing i never had a boring salad again! Try the tofu "croutons" asap-