I'm pretty candid about my love of meat therefore you may be surprised that I'm writing about veggie burgers. Now, don't be alarmed and think I don't like my beef, chicken, buffalo or turkey burgers anymore, I certainly do. But it's hard to deny something when it tastes this good, especially when it's also good for you. Up until this time where vegetarian burgers are concerned, I've been relying on my favorite Chickpea Burgers from 101 Cookbooks and I'll write about those later because they are sensational. However, I was up for some experimentation in the kitchen and have always wanted to try making lentil burgers.
I often make a lentil loaf when I want something lighter than a regular meatloaf. Every time I make it my boyfriend tells me of these veggie burgers he used to love to get from Burger King (I'm serious) and how the lentil loaf would make a great burger. I had some fresh home made buns straight from the oven the other night and thought this would be a great time to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. These veggie burgers are awesome. I think I like them better than the lentil loaf and they are definitely a great alternative to my other favorite Chickpea Burger.
I must also mention the fries pictured here. Two Emeril recipes in one month is an oddity around here, only because I haven't had very much experience with his recipes. Things just might have to change. I tried this oven baked french fry recipe with serious reservation. Baked fries, not on my watch! After trying these fantastic fries in which my boyfriend and I kept saying, "I can't believe how good these are and I can't believe they are oven baked," I'm willing to eat any stigma I had regarding things that are baked which should be fried.
1 cup cooked green lentils, drained well
1/2 cup navy beans, rinsed and drained well (black beans or white kidney beans would also be good here)
1 small carrot, grated
2 TBSP yellow onion, minced
2 TBSP parsley, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP BBQ Sauce
1 TBSP Soy Sauce
1 TBSP tomato paste or ketchup
3/4-1 cups breadcrumbs (start with 3/4 cup, if your mixture seems too wet after refrigeration, add extra 1/4 cup)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 TBS creole seasoning (or a good dose of salt, pepper and a pinch each of garlic powder, cayenne and paprika.)
1/2 tsp hot sauce
Olive oil (or anything you like) for frying
Cook the lentils in simmering water for about 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain the lentils, rinse and drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, mix the lentils and navy beans. Using a potato masher or a fork, slightly mash them together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate mixture for at least one hour. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add olive oil. After refrigeration, form the mixture into patties. Carefully place the patties in the hot oil. Cook on one side for about 6 minutes. Using a spatula, gently flip the burgers, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 8- 10 minutes or so. Remove from the pan, drain the burgers on paper towel or a rack. It's best to allow the burgers to rest for about 8 minutes before serving.
*I like to serve these burgers with melted cheese, mayonnaise, mixed greens, sliced tomato, sliced avocado and red onion, on a toasted bun. Superb!
Makes 4 burgers
French Fries courtesy of Emeril Lagasse:
*bake on Parchment paper!
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment with vegetable oil. Pat the potatoes dry and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Turn each slice flat and slice again lengthwise into even fries, 1/2-inch thick. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg white until very light and foamy. Add the potatoes and the Essence to the egg whites and toss to coat evenly.
Spread the coated potatoes on the prepared baking sheet, not touching. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy; halfway through the cooking time, with a spatula, scrape the potatoes from the baking sheet and turn. Carefully remove with a spatula to a large serving plate, or individual plates. Serve immediately.