Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where's the beef?

For the two friends joining us for lunch today, we decided to serve up one of our favorite easy meal options: walnut oatmeal burgers. As I've mentioned before, we tend not to eat red meat anymore, but that doesn't have to mean we can't have a good burger now and again. Months ago, I found the burger recipe below on the cooking blog everybody likes sandwiches. The blogger had gotten the recipe from someone else and was proclaiming happy surprise at such a yummy, no meat burger. I'm guessing it still counts as vegetarian despite the milk and eggs, but I bet you could get around that for vegans, gail. We really enjoy these, and the best part is making them for guests and asking them to guess what the "mystery meat" is. No one has even come close, but neither has anyone ever disliked it. This afternoon, we served up the burgers with fresh sugar snap peas and homemade baked sweet potato "fries", with iced tea to drink and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for dessert. It felt like summertime despite the winter chill! Enjoy!

walnut oatmeal burgers

burger mixture:
2 c walnut pieces
2 c rolled oats
½ c breadcrumbs
3 eggs, slightly beaten
½ c skim milk
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t sage
1 t salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

for cooking burgers:
oil to brown patties
3 c vegetable stock*

1. Grind walnuts in blender and combine with the rest of the burger mixture ingredients. Let the mixture rest in refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors meld together.

2. Form the mixture into patties. The entire mixture will make 8-12 burgers depending on the size patty formed. It is recommended to use half of the mixture now, and reserve the rest for use in another recipe or for more burgers later.

3. Brown patties on both sides in a lightly oiled skillet, then pour the stock into the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Serve on buns with all your burger fixings.

* If you are only cooking up half the mixture now and half later, be sure to also half the amount of stock. We find a half recipe makes about 4-5 burgers in the size we like, so a half recipe usually suffices for one meal, even with friends.

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