Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Simple and Easy Porcini Mushroom Veggie Burgers

I've experimented with lots of recipes for homemade veggie burgers, and I must say that this is one great veggie burger. It may even be 'the one'! The tempeh and portobellos add just the right amount of texture while the mustard and worcestershire sauce bring depth. It is rich and meaty thanks to the addition of a mere tablespoon of dried porcini mushrooms. If you've never tasted porcini, you are sadly missing out. There is really nothing else like it in the plant world. Chefs will often use dried porcini to give already meaty stews and sauces a meatier flavor if that tells you anything about this powerful, pungent mycelia.

You can find dried porcini mushrooms at Whole Foods. They are about nine dollars for a one-ounce bag, which sounds really expensive, but it's not. That bag will last you quite a while. I use them all the time, and that tiny bag lasts about five months. They are great in stocks, soups, stews, and veggie burgers.

Porcini Mushroom Veggie Burger

(Makes 4 veggie burger patties)

1  8-oz. package of tempeh (crumbled)
1 1/2 cups portobello mushrooms (diced)
1 tablespoon dried porcini (minced)
1 cup smoked provolone cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup shallot (minced)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon vegetarian worcestershire sauce
cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon Creole mustard

1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup of oil for frying

Mix all ingredients, save for the oil, in a large bowl and work it all through with your hands until all ingredients are throughly mixed. In a 10-inch frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Portion patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Pan-fry in the oil for about 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly browned and the egg has set. Remove patties from the pan and set aside until you are ready to serve them. 

Once you have all of your toppings ready, preheat your outdoor grill to 500 degrees. Cook burger patties for about 3-4 minutes per side or until well-marked by the grill grates and heated through. Serve on a soft sesame bun with romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles, thinly sliced shallot, mustard, and mayonnaise.