Monday, July 09, 2007

Taking the beef out of the burger...

Even though Jeff and I enjoy a good beefy burger or even one made from poultry (as long as it is seasoned well!), it is fun to branch out and try different recipes that pack a lot of flavor, but don't include any meat. In fact, made as is, these Hot Tamale Burgers could even be classified as vegan!

A savory mixture of onions, sweet red bell peppers, fresh yellow corn kernels, chipotle chilies and garlic are the substantial base flavors in these burgers. Instead of using an egg to help bind the veggie mixture together, masa harina that has been mixed with vegetable broth, is added and cooked along with the veggies until it has the consistency of a thick polenta. When the veggies are ready, the burgers are bulked up with nutty hot cooked brown rice - you will want to use the short-grain rice as it tends to be a bit stickier than the long grain. When you go to shape the patties, be sure to wet your hands - the mixture is quite sticky and doing this will make life a lot easier and less messy.

You can cook these outdoor on a grill, but we opted to use The Griddler to move things along a little faster. I found these to hold together much better than I thought they would - none of them fell apart at all when I moved them during the cooking process. Along with the cumin, the chipotles backed up the smokiness with a bit of heat, while fresh cilantro, lime juice and lime zest help bring a refreshing bright flavor. The recipe suggested serving these crispy-on-the-outside burgers on a warmed tortilla, which we did, but it felt awkward to try and eat them like this - we ended up just getting a fork and going that route in the end. When we have them for lunch tomorrow, I think I'll just toast up a couple English muffins to serve them on instead.


  1. I am glad to see a review for this recipe Joe! I thought they looked great in the magazine and saved the recipe (along with the other burger recipes) to try!
    Your burgers look great! I also had thought about making them in the griddler - well, actually what we recently got is a pannini maker that works for grilling to!)

  2. Oh these really do sound incredible! Perfect for something different!

  3. ....looks delicious!! I am going to give them a try...yummmmm

  4. Those are really interesting!

  5. Ana - Thanks! They were quite good the next day... I re-heated mine in the toaster oven!

    Meeta - Different and very tasty!

    Carlyn - Let me know if you try them!

    Erika - I know, I just had to give the recipe a go... glad I did!