To make the patties for these veggie burgers, we used a packed cupful of cooked brown rice, which I made using our favorite no-fuss method. I didn't use a measured amount of dry rice to begin with as I always make extra and place the rest in the freezer for later use! Three quarters of that rice is tossed into a food processor, along with Monterey Jack cheese, a good dose of salt and a single chipotle pepper. Chipotle chiles are ripe, red jalapeños that have been smoked and in this case, packed in a vinegar-y adobo sauce. They are fairly potent, but if you'd like a milder, smoky heat, open up the soft pepper and scrape out the seeds first.
Ground down to an almost pasty texture in the processor, next to add is a seeded and chopped poblano pepper, a couple scallions and a scoop of thawed frozen peas, along with roasted and salted pepitas. Pulsed just to incorporate and break down the newly added veggies, the mixture is then scraped out into a bowl, with the remaining cooked rice kneaded in for extra bite. Portioned into four hearty sections, each piece is firmly shaped into a thick patty - I did find the mixture fairly tacky, but if you keep your hands moistened with water, it won't be messy or sticky.
Homemade veggie burgers can be somewhat notorious for falling apart, but I've found in the past that chilling the patties for about a half hour before cooking does wonders for keeping them solid. Even though the recipe didn't call for it, I went ahead and scheduled the extra downtime in for added insurance. With one side brushed with oil, the patties were added into a heated grill pan, oiled side down, and cooked until well toasted and a bit crusty. Before flipping, the uncooked side is quickly brushed with a dab more oil, then turned to cook just the same.
Sadly, I didn't have any of our snazzy homemade burger buns in the freezer and I didn't think enough ahead to make any either, which meant we had to go with those fiber-packed sandwich thins we already had handy. Jeff wanted his plain, as in just the patty and bun, but definitely pack on any variety of toppings you see fit - think about lettuce leaves, thick tomato slices, salsa, sour cream or even thinly sliced avocado. If you'd rather not use a burger bun, how about stuffing one of these thick patties into a warmed pita pocket instead?
Brown-Rice Veggie Burgers