06 December 2008

Veggie burgers and curried potatoes

I'm not sure where the idea to make veggie burgers came from. For weeks we've been saying we wanted soon to make ourselves some good hamburgers, since that's something we don't get here. I even went out and bought some nice lean beef we might grind up.

Instead of beef, beans

I told Walt he should make some buns for our burgers. We had seen a French Cuisine TV cooking show not too long ago where the cook made such buns. Hamburgers seem to be all the rage right now, judging from the shows we see on Cuisine TV.

Grate a carrot, a zucchini, and a couple of potatoes

And now that I've written that, I remember that it was chef Eric Léautey on his current cooking show who showed how to make veggie burgers last week. He also made foie gras burgers on the same show. We went for the veggie burgers, but didn't end up using his recipe.

So our hamburgers became veggie burgers, and that actually sounded even better. I did some searching on the Internet and came up with a few ideas. We adapted the best looking recipe among them to our ingredients. By the way, I've never seen pre-made veggie burgers in the freezer sections at our local supermarkets. Making them from scratch is better anyway.

Mashed pinto beans

For example, many veggie burger recipes call for black beans. We don't get those here in the French countryside. But I did have half a bag of dried pinto beans in the cellar. I decided to use those, and I cooked them in water with a bay leaf, a little onion, a couple of allspice berries, and half a dozen black pepper corns. That took about 2 hours, for the quick soaking and the cooking.

Veggie burger mixture and some wedges of potato

Meanwhile I grated a big carrot and a small raw onion. We have bags of grated zucchini from the garden in the freezer — grating raw zucchini is a good way to prepare it for freezing. When you thaw it, the water comes out and you can use that in soup. Press the grated pulp to remove as much water as possible if you are going to use it in a veggie burger mixture or in a quiche. Or cook it with the water in a soup.

The buns Walt made with a French chef's recipe

I also grated three small potatoes. The beans were done, so we drained them and Walt mashed them with the potato masher. (I tried to pulse them in the food processor, but that wasn't a good idea so I took them back out for mashing.) Two good cups of beans went in with the grated vegetables to make the burgers.

Veggie patties

We added maybe half a cup of corn meal to the mixture to make it dry enough for forming patties. And we spiced it with a good amount of salt and black pepper along with two or three tablespoons of curry powder. You could use about any mixture of cumin, cayenne, paprika, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, or other spices — or none at all. To taste, in other words.

Frying the patties — one flipped to show how nice they fry up

There was enough veggie mix to make eight veggie patties. Four of them went into the freezer for later and four of them got cooked. Only two got eaten, because they were pretty filling.Walt had made buns the day before. At first he said he didn't like the recipe, but in the end the buns came out great. You can see that from the pictures.

Veggie burger patties with curried, roasted potatoes

We also made curried, oven roasted potatoes from a recipe that Loulou posted on her blog in two parts — here and here. They were perfect with the veggie burgers. Loulou of Chez Loulou is posting a lot of good exotic recipes these days, including this one for corn chowder. I'm going to make that one soon.


  1. Halfway through this process, Ken said, and I quote, "These veggie burgers would be great with some lardons in them."

    lardons: smoked pork; meat.

  2. Those buns look perfect! Mashed potato always turns to glue in the processor.

    I'm sure cured pork products don't count as meat in most of Europe.

  3. I've been told, on more than one occasion, that my buns are perfect. ;)

  4. These look great. You had a vegan meal (unless the hamburger buns had egg or milk in them). You guys definitely run the gamut in your cooking.

    Gorgeous buns, Walt, though I guess I'm not the first to say so.

  5. I was surprised when I saw Walt's buns--I didn't know it was possible to bake good buns yourself.

  6. Hi Carolyn, no milk or eggs in the buns, no dairy in the veggie burgers. But I did cook them in butter. I guess that voided it all. But they were good.

    Evelyn, don't let Walt know you think he has... err, makes nice buns. They are really good. Just flour, water, salt, a little sugar, and yeast.

    Susan, I tried to pulse the processor to partly grind up the beans, but there were too many of them. The potato masher worked better.

  7. Homemade hamburger buns? You guys amaze me.

    I made Loulou's corn chowder and it was delicious. We've been freezing our "buns" off here for weeks and that recipe was just perfect.

  8. What a good idea. I've seen recipes for veggie burgers, but I've never tried them. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Many vegetarian recipes would be greatly improved by the addition of meat.

  9. Nice buns! Oh, and nice bread, too! You are so adventurous in the kitchen! And everything seems to turn out delicious!

  10. Betty, we have time. And motivation (budget as well as not having to go out to buy these things).

    Chris, the veggie burgers are really good. I'm glad I tried them.

    Ch., you are going to give Walt "la grosse tête" if you are not careful.

  11. Walt

    Great buns .....I mean hamburger rolls :-)
    Both of you are so good in the culinary arena- kind of being self-sufficient

  12. The word verification is "fatist". Does it means an adept of fat? Or that fate is in fat?
    It seems to be counterproductive with veggie burgers and fat buns.

  13. Fabulous looking hamburger buns! Wow! Thanks for the thorough explanation of those great-looking veggie burgers :)


  14. I am with Ken and Chrissoup, a lot of vegetarian dishes would taste better with a bit of meat ;)
    I feel like I've eaten a full meal just looking at those pics!

  15. You always amaze and inspire me! Looks like a delicious meal and those homemade buns are impressive.
    I must try the veggie burgers sometime.
    Glad you liked the potatoes.


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