Saturday, January 26, 2013

Macadamia Nut Burgers

Sometimes a burger hits the spot.

In this case, a nut burger.

When my grandmother was a vegetarian in 1960s England, you could buy nut rissoles in a tin. I guess they were early gardenburgers, before refrigeration was as reliable as it is today.

These macadamia nut burgers we ate the other night are nothing like the hockey puck called a gardenburger. (I've never seen a nut rissole so I can't compare them.)

They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with texture from the nuts and celery.

We ate them with baked sweet potato fries and coleslaw - no buns. It was high protein fast food with a healthy twist.

I adapted the recipe from Rose Eliot's peanut burgers in her book The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine. It contains marmite, a staple of British school children and vegetarians (excellent source of B vitamins and a rich flavor similar to beef broth). You can buy it locally at Lucky Baldwin's Pub in Old Pasadena (along with other essentials like Branston pickle and Bird's custard powder).

The burgers will be good even without the marmite. You might add a little extra soy sauce if you like.

Macadamia Nut Burgers
3 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp marmite
1 cup roasted salted cashews
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
2/3 cup fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
extra breadcrumbs for coating
oil to coat the frypan

Grind the nuts fairly finely in a food processor or blender. Some large-ish bits are fine. Don't over-pulverize them and turn them to nut butter.

(You can also grind 1-2 slices of whole wheat bread to make the fresh breadcrumbs.)

Melt the butter or olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and celery until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, marmite, nuts and fresh breadcrumbs.

Let the mixture cool until it's easy to handle, and then form 4 burgers about 1/3 inch thick. Press them together well, then pat dry breadcrumbs onto the top, turn them over, and pat more breadcrumbs on the other side. (The breadcrumbs will crisp up in the frypan and make a crunchy exterior.)

Warm the frypan over medium heat. Pour in enough oil to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cook the burgers about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp.

Drain on paper towels, then serve hot.

Serves 4.

(Store the leftovers in the fridge. They reheat well in the toaster oven. The uncooked burgers will last a few days in the fridge. Cook as needed.)

1 comment:

  1. These sound yummy. Anything made out of macadamia nuts would be good. However, I feel compelled to defend the "hockey puck" garden burgers. I really liked the mushroom lover’s burger, which, of course disappeared from the shelves of the all the area grocery stores. I like the spicy black bean burgers too. The secret is to top with guacamole. It offsets the puckishness.