Monday, July 7, 2008
Who knew that with a food processor, a measuring cup, and a few staples you could pull together a bizarrely delicious and incidentally meatless burger? Mark Bittman, that's who. But take a look at his newish cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and it quickly becomes clear that there is very little Mark Bittman doesn't know.
For a long time, I casted about, looking for a good vegetarian cookbook that would offer me recipes that didn't make me feel like I was going to starve or endure a sad side-dish subsistence diet. This cookbook is what I was looking for and then some. It's huge, the recipes are great, and it encourages the sort of free thinking that will allow me to start to internalize the recipes and, if someday I am confronted with, say, a bunch of carrots, one can of beer, and a small baggie of flour, I could confidently pull together something delicious inspired by this book.
Here's my version of the nut burger recipe (because he's Mark Bittman, he gives you lots of ingredient options):
Grind one medium onion in a food processor (not too much- you want it to be chopped, not liquefied). Add a half cup walnuts and a half cup almonds, a half cup oats and a half cup brown rice, then blend some more. Then add a tablespoon of ketchup and a tablespoon of tahini, a teaspoon of chili powder (Mr. B has a recipe for making your own that results in a highly addictive concoction), some salt, pepper, and an egg, then blend a bit more. Let it sit for a few minutes, shape the mixture into patties (I usually get about 6 or 7 out of a batch, but I like thinner patties), and then add a bit of oil to a cast-iron or nonstick skillet and cook them on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
Then eat and trip out on how good they are. And then wait three days until you start to crave them again, and repeat.