Monday, November 11, 2013

sweet potato-quinoa burgers

This recipe was stumbled upon.  I wasn't thinking about sweet potatoes or quinoa or burger alternatives but, while browsing the cookbook selection at Anthropologie (they have one of the best curated selections ever) and searching for the quintessential French bistro napkins I am obsessed with (I still haven't found them), I discovered it and proceeded to make it that evening.  

This is probably the best veggie burger I have ever encountered.  It doesn't crumble or fall apart after one bite (the way most every veggie burger has the habit of doing), it feels and tastes substantial which is why even hardcore meat eaters will love it (the boy gave it two thumbs up).  The combination of spices works amazingly well with the sweet potato and quinoa and that elevates the burger from boring to bold.  Served with your favorite burger fixings and you have one epic (vegetarian friendly) burger night.  

Sweet Potato-Quinoa Burgers
Recipe adapted from The Kinfolk Table Cookbook 

I loved the idea of this recipe, I absolutely detested the fussiness of it. I streamlined things, upped the level of spices, and basically made it much more user friendly.  

Makes 6 burgers

1 pound (455 grams) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces/100 grams) quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1 cup (240 milliliters) water
1 cup (4 ounces/115 grams) chickpea flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon (3 grams) ground corriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1 - 2 tablespoons basil or cilantro or a combination of both 
1 teaspoon sesame seeds plus additional for sprinkling the burgers with 
For serving: Buns or english muffins, sliced avocado, roasted tomatoes, fontina cheese, or whatever burger accompaniments you love (this is just what I love!).  

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Transfer the sheet to a rack to cool the potatoes for about 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa under cold running water in a fine mesh-sieve until the water runs clear.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauce-pan over medium -high heat until shimmering.  Add the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the quinoa is beginning to dry and turn golden. Add the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Cool completely.  

Peel the potatoes and add the softened potato to the bowl with the quinoa.  Use a fork to smash the potato and mix to combine with the quinoa. Add in the corriander, cayenne, paprika, cumin, basil or cilantro, sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add the chickpea flour 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.  The mixture should be a little tacky but soft.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 5 hours or overnight.  

Remove the mixture from the fridge, form 6 patties about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Sprinkle the patties with sesame seeds.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place 3 of the burgers in the pan and cook the burgers for about 3 minutes per side or until well browned.  Remove from the pan and repeat with the other 3 patties.  Serve with condiments of your choice. 

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