Introduction: Not-so-veggie Veggie Burger
Don't go broke buying small veggie burger patties from the store. Build your own American portion sized veggie burgers. This recipe is not for vegans but rather for the discerning connoisseur who appreciates a tasty homemade veggie burger. I modified this recipe from Jolinda Hackett's Spicy TVP Burger http://vegetarian.about.com/od/veggieburgerrecipes/r/spicytvpburger.htm , so please don't let me steal any credit for originality.
Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together
What you will need:
1.33 cups of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) You can buy this in bulk at your local health food store. TVP is a soy based processed food that isn't 100% healthy for you, so it should taste good.
20 ounces of Chicken Broth Although I should use vegetable broth to remain veggie, I figured why waste the bouillon I already have in the cupboard. The chicken's dead, don't waste 'em.
2 eggs beaten Sorry vegans, just be glad I don't include an animal cruelty joke about beating eggs at this point.
1 big jalapeno minced
2 cups white flour
0.5 onion minced
0.5 cups of chopped mushrooms
3 Tbsp of your favorite BBQ Sauce Great BBQ sauce is rarely vegan due to use of animal products.
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
oil for frying pan I used a spray oil, but you could use bacon grease since we're not being very veggie.
Step 2: Rehydrate Your TVP
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is sold dry so you have to add broth rehydrate it for use. Being sold dry makes it a very cheap protein source, perfect for college students and broke vegetarians. I boil 20 ounces of water and add 2.5 tsp to it to make broth. If you're a bachelor without a measuring cup, then use your graduated Nalgene to measure liquids. Plus, that Nalgene bottle is so 2001 for the green-chic. Add broth and TVP in a large bowl and walk away for twenty minutes.
Step 3: MInce It Up
While you're waiting for the TVP to do its thing, mince up the onion, jalapeno and mushrooms. I tried to use a food processor and ended up liquifying everything to the consistency of baby food. Use a knife and cutting board there is more control and less cleaning time. Be careful when removing the seeds of the jalapeno before cutting it. I forgot that the seeds are where most of the heat comes from and I rubbed my eyes before washing my hands thoroughly. After pouring a half gallon of milk over my open eyeballs I was finally able to see.
Step 4: Add It Up
Drain all the excess moisture from the TVP by using a clean washcloth or colander. Then add all the rest of your ingredients to the big bowl with the TVP. Mix it all up till it's even.
Step 5: Fire Good
Grease two skillets and heat them just above medium on your range. Scoop raquetball sized portions out of the mixture and add to skillets. You should be able to easily fit four on each skillet. Fry them just before they blacken and be sure to flatten the patties after you flip them. As you wait for the burger to brown, you should rummage through your pantry for snacks to stuff in your face. No one trusts a bald barber, so why would one eat food from an anorexic chef?
Step 6: Cooling and Mobilizing
My wife has much more wisdom in the kitchen than I, so she demanded that the burgers cool on this nifty rack that I would have never purchased as a bachelor. I wanted to stack the burgers on a plate to cool, but the moisture retained by using this method would hurt the fantastic meat like texture of the veggie burger. When cooled you can stack whatever condiments and garnish you like on top.
I take one of these patties as a sandwich to work most everyday. The best way to preserve the greatness of the burger is to toast your bread before packing it in a reusable plastic container. The toast won't be crispy when you reheat the burger in the microwave, but it also won't disintegrate from the moisture. Don't forget to top with your favorite cheese. Cheese is an important part of this meal as well as your love-handles.