Wednesday, August 15, 2012

'Tis the Season for Burgers and Fries

Summer cravings have once again possessed me to spend two hours in a hot kitchen making a seasonally appropriate dinner, but these lentil burgers were worth it. They’re close to my black bean burgers, with a few tweaks (well, and lentils instead of black beans). They’re not exactly barbecue material, since they require more finesse in cooking than throwing onto a grate, but you could still eat them outside if you want.

The Burgers:
Get this:
A bag of lentils
An onion
A vegetable or two (I used a red bell pepper, but you could use mushrooms or whatever else)
A few cloves of garlic
2-4 cups of instant oats (whatever it takes to get the burger batter to stick together)
Spices (I used salt, pepper, paprika, oregano & basil, because that’s what I had)
Some flour

Do this:

  • Cook and drain the lentils.
  • Grind the onion, garlic and other vegetables to a pulp and set aside.
  • Grind the oats to a powder and set aside.
  • Smash the lentils with a masher a bit, leaving some whole and some squashed.
  • Mix the lentils, vegetable goo and spices together and add oats as needed until it thickens and sticks.
  • Use your hands to make balls of burger and coat each lightly with flour.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Cook the burgers on one side so that they’re mostly cooked through, and then flip once (sort of like pancakes). They’ll obviously be more fragile than their fleshy counterparts so it’s best to disturb them as little as possible while cooking.
  • Put them on buns with fixings of your choosing.

The Fries

Get this:
Sweet potatoes
A little oil
Salt, pepper and garlic powder

Do this: Cut the sweet potatoes into fry shapes and coat them with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder, put them on a sheet pan, and throw them in the oven at 375ish until they look done. They don't take long, maybe 20 minutes in the oven.

This makes a fairly massive amount -- about enough for 16 huge burgers by my count. So unless you’re insatiably hungry and consuming these in close proximity to a toilet, I’d freeze some for next week’s dinner. Or just use half the bag of lentils and fewer oats. Wing it... it’ll work.

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