Veggies on the counter

Chickpea and Tempeh Patties with Lemon Chutney

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on February 5, 2014

tempehpatties For some reason I can’t yet figure out, my cats love tempeh.  They could be sleeping on the farthest room from the kitchen but, as soon as I open the tempeh package, they come running and meowing like crazy. I always give them little bits of it, and they always give me back “the face”, meaning they want seconds. Maybe it’s tempeh’s yeast-y and nutty flavour that drives them mad. Anyway, I have hardly ever seen them being so enthusiastic about a particular food as they are about it (don’t get me started on the organic and expensive as hell wet food I once bought them, which they sniffed and walked away from). tempeh collage  Unlike the kitties, and through my years as a vegetarian/vegan, I never cared much for tempeh. Today, however, I’ve been cooking with it much more often. Through practice, I guess I’ve come up with some pretty good dishes that feature this fermented soy-based and, most of the time, underrated ingredient. The recipe for this patties is, out of the things I’ve made recently using tempeh, the one I like the most. They’re complex in flavour as well as in texture, with different spices thrown in for a bit of a spicy kick. A couple specifics: you really have to refrigerate them for at least two hours before cooking. It pays off, really: their consistency will improve and it’ll be easier to shape them. The chutney, on its side, won’t take you more than 5 minutes to make and it’s sweet and tangy character goes really well with the patties’ earthy flavours. lemon 1 lemon 2 Chickpea and Tempeh Patties with Lemon Chutney

(makes 6 to 8 patties)

for the patties:

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup warm water for at least 15 minutes

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme

3 tablespoons tomato puree/paste

1 ½ teaspoons harissa

½ teaspoon sea salt

145 g /1 cup frozen corn

250 gr tempeh, crumbled

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

for the lemon chutney:

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

210g /2 medium sized lemons

125 ml / ½ cup brown rice syrup

For the patties: In a pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms, crushed cumin seeds, paprika, turmeric and thyme, followed by ½ cup of the mushrooms soaking water. Give everything a good stir and add the tomato puree, harissa, salt, frozen corn and tempeh. Cook for, over a low-medium flame, for 8-10 minutes. Add the chickpeas to a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher. They will work as the “glue” that holds the patties together, so they should be well mashed. Add the tempeh mixture to the chickpeas and stir everything together until you have a firm mixture. Taste to check the seasoning and add a bit more salt if needed. Refrigerate the burgers mixture for at least 2 hours. When you’re ready to cook them, add a generous drizzle of olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the burgers and let them cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they’re golden brown. Serve with the lemon chutney on top.

For the lemon chutney: In a small pan over medium heat, toast the mustard seeds for 1-2 minutes or until brown but not burnt. Set aside. Using a y-shaped peeler or a small sharp knife, remove the lemons’ skin. Cut the skinless lemons into quarters and remove as much as the white part as you can (you only want the pulp). Remove any seeds as well. Cut the lemons’ pulps into smaller pieces and their skins into very thin strips. Add the lemons’ skin and pulp and the rice syrup to the pan with the toasted mustard seeds. Cook for 5 minutes, uncovered and over medium heat, or until the liquid is reduced a bit (it will reduce even more after it’s cooled, so don’t overcook it). Serve with the burgers.

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White Bean and Leek Cakes

Posted in main courses, Uncategorized by veggies on the counter on December 30, 2013

white bean cakes

You know the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. The same principle can be applied to food – there are dishes that don’t necessarily look good (like black bean soup or chilli, for instance) but do taste amazing.

On my laptop, there’s a folder with all the recipes from the blog, organized by categories. Inside that folder, there’s one titled “?” where I keep the recipes I’m not exactly sure if I should post up here.  More often than not, those recipes fit into the “ugly-but-oh-so-tasty” category that I mentioned above. There’s the tempeh and mushroom loaf, a version of greek baked beans, and a couple others. They were a nightmare to shoot and I always think they deserve a second chance (photography wise) but, for that to happen, I have to make them again.

The recipe I’m about to share was just an inch away from going into the “?” folder.  I took lots of pictures of it, from different angles and with different plates, but only managed to get two or three that I think are just ok. Part of the reason for that is because this is a recipe that has its roots on the british classic bubble and squeak, a dish well known for its lack of sexiness. In this version, white beans replace the potatoes for a kick of protein, and leeks are used instead of greens just because it was what I had around. The patties come together almost effortlessly and do deliver a lot on the tasting front. Don’t sweat trying to make them look perfectly shaped, though – this is meant to be a simple, uncomplicated dish, where the hearty and rustic flavours are all that matters.

leek comp

leeks

White Bean and Leek Cakes

(makes 4 to 6 patties, depending on the size)

2 large / 250 g leeks, white parts only

450 g cooked white beans (canned is fine)

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small bunch / 15 g parsley, finely chopped

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for seasoning the pan

Cut the leeks in half and wash the halves thoroughly to remove any dirt. Cut each half into thin half moons.

In a frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the leeks, garlic and parsley. Cook for 5 minutes or until the leeks are soft.

Transfer the leeks to a large bowl. Add the white beans and mash everything together with a potato masher (don’t overdo it and leave some parts just barely broken down for a bit of texture).  Season the mixture with a bit of salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.

Clean the pan in which you have cooked the leeks with kitchen paper towels. Add a generous glug of olive oil to the pan, making sure it covers its surface, and turn the heat on medium. Shape the white bean and leek mixture into patties and add them to the pan. Season each cake with a bit more salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown (I like mine almost on the verge of being burnt). Serve with pickled cucumber, mustard, fried capers or whatever you fancy.

Black Bean and Red Pepper Burgers

Posted in appetizers, breakfast & brunch, main courses, sandwiches by veggies on the counter on June 7, 2013

blackbeanburgers

If you check this blog regularly, chances are you’ve probably noticed that I have a soft spot for veggie burgers. Out of the 62 recipes posted to date in here, 6 of them consist of some sort of patties – and being honest, I think there will be a lot more to come. What I mostly like about veggie burgers is that you can play around with ingredient and flavour combinations – mixing spices, nuts, whole grains, legumes and vegetables – and end up with a protein-packed component of a dish. When paired with a salad of sorts, they make quite a satisfying meal.

This burger in particular came out of the need to clean up the fridge: there was this neglected pepper in the bottom shelf that would go bad in a matter of days, halves of onions wrapped up in parchment paper for a supposed later use, a nearly empty large jar of olives… I could go on. I strongly encourage you to give these a try as they have a contrast of flavour and texture – soft and salty olives / crunchy and nutty seeds – that really seals the deal for me.

peppercollage

When it comes to serve them, this time around I thought of something different from “the classic” – in between two pieces of bread – and came up with the idea of wrapping the patties in thin slices of grilled eggplant. The eggplant adds extra moisture and a distinct smoky flavour that I’m particularly fond of. In case you want to up the patties’ (already high) protein content, an open-faced “sandwich” made with grilled Portobello mushrooms – just like this one – would be an excellent choice.

prepcollage

02_burgers

Black Bean and Red Pepper Burgers

(makes 6 patties)

2 large onions / 300g / 2 cups, finely chopped

1 medium sized red bell pepper / 220g / 1 cup, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle

1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (1/2 teaspoon if using regular paprika)

240 g / 1 ½ cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

60 g / ½ cup buckwheat flakes (you can substitute with rolled oats)

55 g / 1/3 cup green olives, coarsely chopped

40 g / 1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1 big handful chopped coriander

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sunflower seeds and toast them for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and smell fragrant.

In the same skillet you used for toasting the seeds, add the finely chopped garlic cloves, coriander and cumin seeds, smoked paprika and olive oil. Cook the spices and garlic over a medium-high flame for 1 minute.

Add the onions, pepper and salt to the skillet, give it a good stir, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the mixture cook for about 15 minutes, or until the onion and pepper bits are soft and slightly caramelised. You should check the skillet every 5 minutes to avoid burning the mixture – if the latter seems dry, add up to 2 tablespoons of water each time you check it out.

Once the onion mixture has been cooked and cooled down, add half of it to the bowl of a food processor. Add the beans as well. Pulse a few times, or until you get a sticky but consistent paste.

Transfer the bean and onion mixture to a bowl. Add the buckwheat flakes and incorporate well using a wooden spoon. Add the chopped green olives, toasted sunflower seeds and coriander as well. Mix again. You’ll end up with a slightly moister mixture, but it should still be possible to make patties out of it. To make the job easier, wet your hands with cold water and shape the mixture into 6 burgers (or more, depending on the size you choose).

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil, over a medium flame, in a large skillet. Add the patties and cook them for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with your favourite condiments and fixings or as suggested above.

Roasted Hokkaido Squash and Quinoa Patties

Posted in main courses by veggies on the counter on February 8, 2013

patties

Last weekend I went to the farmer’s market and brought home some lovely squashes (butternut and hokkaido). Throughout the week I’ve been making soups and purées with them and today, after roasting the last and bigger one, I’ve decided to make some patties out of it. What I love about hokkaido squashes is their subtle sweetness and starchy texture that, in my opinion, are enhanced by roasting. After roasting the squash I pureed it  in a food processor and added some cooked red quinoa and a couple other ingredients in order to form the base of my patties.

hokkaido collage

The addition of tahini is critical to this recipe, permeating the burgers with a subtle nuttiness that makes them extra yummy. If you can’t find red quinoa feel free to swap for the white variety; on the other hand, the hokkaido could also be subbed with butternut squash. However, if you do use butternut squash you need to peel it as its skin is tougher than the one of hokkaido (which, for the last two times I made this recipe, I didn’t bother peeling). I know it’s the second time I suggest adding pan fried capers as garnish (lately, I’ve been rediscovering capers and adding them to literally everything I cook) but I do think their saltiness and tanginess pairs beautifully with these babies’ flavours.

food processor

Roasted Hokkaido Squash and Quinoa Patties

(makes 4 patties)

1 medium sized hokkaido squash, seeds removed and cut into big chunks

1 cup / 140 g cooked red quinoa

1 heaping tablespoon tahini

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup/ 40 g hazelnuts

1 big handful chopped coriander

olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

 

1 handful capers, drained

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180-200ºC. Arrange the squash chunks in a large baking tray, add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast  for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

2. In the meantime, toast the hazelnuts: heat a large skillet over high heat, add the hazelnuts and let them brown a bit – 3 to 4 minutes. While they’re still hot, very carefully transfer them to a clean paper towel and rub them in it. The skins will then come off easily. Roughly chop the hazelnuts.

3. When the roasted squash is cool enough to handle, measure up 1 cup or 250 g of it. Add the squash to the bowl of a food processor as well as ½ cup of the cooked quinoa, the tahini and minced garlic clove. Process until a thick puree comes together.

4. Transfer the squash and quinoa mixture to a bowl. Add the chopped hazelnuts, coriander and a pinch of freshly grated black pepper. Have a taste and adjust the flavours, adding a bit more salt if necessary. With your hands, form the mixture into 4 large patties.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat add the patties and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, only turning them once. As soon as the burgers are done cooking, transfer them to a large platter but don’t turn off the heat yet – you can now pan fry the capers. Add the capers and one additional tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook them until they’re golden brown. Scatter the capers on top of the patties and serve immediately.