Our grilling and fish-fry fest last weekend was supposed to be a late afternoon dinner on the patio with a few friends. I wanted to photograph all the spearing, grilling, and frying going on. I started snapping a few food-prep photos but quickly realized that my guests would not eat until midnight if I didn’t just get the grub on the table. It was past sunset when we sat down to eat. I grabbed a few dollar-store candles leftover from Hurricane Irene and managed a lovely patio-dinner-by-candlelight. Late morning the next day, I wanted to recreate the breezy vibe and soulful flavors from the night before. There were leftovers and there were hungry people, so I fixed an after-grilling brunch. Deep-fried shrimp and grits, vegan burger sliders, eggs and fruit were our brunch eats. The vegan sliders were my pride-and-joy dish of the previous evening and were still a hit at brunch.
The idea for these meatless burgers came from an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. My recipe is an adaptation. I couldn’t find the recipe online and relied on my memory, which isn’t the best these days. What I do remember clearly was that there were mashed potatoes and brown rice in the dish.
First, I boiled, cooled, and peeled three pounds of organic white potatoes (six medium or eight small potatoes). I added the spuds to a large bowl and mashed the potatoes into small chunks with a fork. Next, I stirred in two cups of brown rice. The mixture was a bit dry, so I added1/4 cup of hot water to loosen it. To the potato-rice mixture, I stirred in two cups of steamed green peas, chopped green onion, soy sauce, sweet smoked paprika, garlic powder, Adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, and salt and pepper. I used an ice-cream scoop to form the patties and rolled each one in cornflake crumbs before pan-frying them (see recipe below).
A major addition to the brunch was the fish and shrimp that was expertly fried by my friend Charles, who lugged his turkey fryer, two one-gallon jugs of canola oil, and bags of frozen seafood over to our house. He used the Louisiana Fish Fry mix and this recipe for the wet-batter fried fish and shrimp.
We missed the sunlight the night before but enjoyed it the next morning as it illuminated our after-grilling brunch fare. Have you hosted or attended an after-event brunch? Tell me about it. Here’s the recipe for the Vegan Burger Sliders:
Vegan Burger Sliders
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 pounds boiled white potatoes (six medium or eight small)
1/4 hot water
2 cups steamed fresh or frozen green peas
3 chopped green onions (scallions) bulbs and tops
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet, smoked paprika
11/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon sauce from canned chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Cornflake or cracker crumbs (can substitute regular minced breadcrumbs)
Cook 1.5 cup brown rice according to package directions. Allow rice to cool to room temperature after it is cooked. While rice is cooking, boil potatoes with skin on until soft but not mushy (test with a fork by piercing a potato. When the fork slides through easily but still feels firm like a baked potato, it’s ready. Remove from heat and add to a cold-water bath. While potatoes are cooling, chop the onions and steam tor boil the peas for 3 minutes or until soft. Use only a small amount of water (just enough to cover the peas). You could also prepare frozen or microwave-in-bag green peas. Peel the cooled potatoes. When all cooked ingredients are ready, chunk the potatoes with a fork or give them a few mashes with a potato masher. Potatoes should be chunky and not whipped. Add the brown rice and stir or use your hands to mix. Add 1/4 of hot water (or a little more if it’s really dry) to hydrate the mixture. Add the peas and scallions and stir to mix the vegetables thoroughly. Mix in the soy sauce, paprika, and adobo sauce (store the remaining chipotle peppers and sauce in the fridge). Add salt and pepper and taste the vegetable mix. Adjust the seasonings to your taste if needed.
Pour the cornflake or cracker crumbs on a chopping board or on a sheet of aluminum foil. Using your hand or an ice cream scoop to form four-inch burgers from the vegetable mix. Place each burger on top of the crumbs and cover both sides with the crumb mixture. Pan-fry each burger on top of the stove in a non-stick or seasoned cast-iron pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn each burger once and handle gently to prevent or minimize the burgers breaking apart. Fry until burgers are golden brown. Place cooked burgers in slider buns and add your favorite burger toppings. Serves 6 two sliders each.
Do you have a favorite homemade veggie burger recipe? Please share with me!