Thursday, June 9, 2011

Homemade Veggie Burgers, Part 2: USA 0, Spain 4 (Well, At Least the Tailgate was good!)

photo credit: Nathan Gower

Aside from suffering a bitter and soul crushing defeat at the hands of the Spanish National Team, I'd say that Saturday's American Outlaws affairs were a terrific success.

So the US lost 0-4 to Spain. But hey, at least AO Boston threw a heck of a party!

photo credit: Garrett Quinn
As this was the first foray into catering for both AO Boston and the Asphalt Kitchen, we were glad to have the help of volunteer grillers and seasoned tailgate veterans from AO chapters around the country. It was by no mistake that things went relatively smoothly.

While my companions grilled upwards of two thousand burgers and hot dogs on the massive (8 ft!) grills we rented, I handled the veggie burgers and Boca vegan patties for the non-meat eaters among us. Also for the people who didn't get in line fast enough for meat burgers and had to settle for leftover vegan patties (sorry folks).

Aside from a few collapsed casualties, my veggie burgers held up quite well on the grill. The skillet cooking ahead of time definitely helped in this department, as did greasing up the grill to prevent sticking.

As far as this recipe goes: It is very basic and very flexible. A food processor with shredding attachment is handy, especially if you're doubling (or quintupling, as we did) the recipe. I've grated everything by hand in the past using a cheese grater, so it's doable. We also tinkered around with the spices and added some bread crumbs...this was truly a work of experimentation.

Without further ado,

Homemade Veggie Burgers

Adapted from Jen Parmer via
Shared with me by Andrew Lind, potluck chef extrordinaire

Serves: approximately 10 patties. Quintupling the recipe yielded 70 patties!

   2 teaspoons olive oil
   1 small onion, grated
   2 cloves garlic, crushed
   2 carrots, shredded
   1 summer squash, shredded
   1 zucchini, shredded
   1 1/2 cups rolled oats
   1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
   1 egg, beaten*
   1/3 cup shredded cheddar
   chili powder, to taste
   cumin, to taste
   hot sauce, to taste
   salt and pepper, to taste
   1 tbsp soy sauce
   1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

   1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Cook onion and garlic 5 minutes, until tender and fragrant.
   2. Mix in carrots, squash, and zucchini. Continue to cook and stir for 3 minutes.
   3. Remove from heat. Mix in oats, breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg*. Stir in soy sauce and add spices to your liking.
   4. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour. Or don't, and just hope they'll hold together.
   5. Meanwhile, preheat grill or a clean skillet**
   6. Spread a handful of the flour on a large plate. Using your hands, form veggie mix into 3-inch round patties. Lightly coat each with flour by gently rolling them on the plate.
   7. Oil grill grate or skillet. Cook 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and nicely browned.

*I used an egg to hold everything together, but if you want to keep your burgers more truly veggie, you could probably forgo the egg and throw in some pureed chickpeas or avocado...or anything help with the binding together of your patties.
**This is the point where you can choose which way to go. If you are tailgating, as we were, you may want to start by pre-cooking in the skillet, then heat the patties up on the grill when you get to your parking lot/field/backyard party destination.

photo credit: Covering Soccer

photo credit: Covering Soccer

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