Textural balance and difference is important to every recipe, but especially with veggie burgers. Have you ever had one that’s just plain mushy? If so, it was probably your last until now. This recipe, with sweet potatoes as a lightly sweet binder and base, meaty mushrooms, toothsome walnuts, and al dente quinoa, will change the way you think about veggie burgers.
14 ounces/300 grams sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch/2.5-centimeter dice
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
8 ounces/225 grams cremini or shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, tops cleaned and coarsely chopped
½ cup (2 ounces/60 grams) walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
1 cup (6 ounces/180 grams) Basic Quinoa (pages 12–13) or Pilaf-Style Quinoa (page 14)
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Picked Pink Onions (page 33)
Sweet and Tangy Roasted Tomatoes (page 27)
Place the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, weigh out 10 ounces (about 1 cup) and reserve.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, walnuts, shallots, and soy sauce and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are golden brown and the shallots are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sherry vinegar and cook 1 more minute. Stir in the quinoa. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning with soy sauce, vinegar, and pepper.
Place the cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash them with a fork. Stir in the mushroom mixture, cilantro, and parsley.
Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape them into 5-inch/12.5-centimeter patties.
Wipe out the skillet and coat it lightly with oil. Heat the skillet over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook the patties until deep golden brown on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve with any of the suggested accompaniments
(* Reproduced with permission from 'The Quinoa [Keen-Wah] CookBook' by Maria del Mar Sacasa - Published by Harper Wave, July 2015- All rights reserved- Photography by Zach deSart)
Not every American will go for their 'Fish Head Soup' recipe yet I am sure every one of them will find something to be awed by in Hartwood 'Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatan' (Artisan Books, Fall 2015) by Eric Werner and Mya Henry.
The couple decided to leave their New York restaurant jobs and pack up their bags for Tulum (Yucatan, Mexico) to build their dream restaurant open to the skies.
Here's a cocktail from the book to make you thirsty for more.
Makes 1 drink
A marocha is a woman with dark hair and smoky coloring; it’s also slang for a party girl, the one who’s always going out and hitting the dance floor. This drink tastes how a marocha looks: earthy papaya (which becomes buttery when pureed) paired with smoky mezcal and brightened with orange juice. It’s also what a marocha might drink to get the night going.
2 shots papaya puree
1 shot smoky mezcal
¼ cup fresh orange juice
Pour the papaya puree into a glass, then fill the glass with ice. Add the mezcal and orange juice and stir well.
Time for one pot cooking the Japanese way with Donabe, Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking (Ten Speed Press, October 2015)by Kyle Connoughton and Naoko Moore
Pork Snow Balls Shiro-mushi Dango
Serves 6 to 8 as part of a multicourse meal
Equipment: 1 large (3-quart/3 l) donabe steamer
These heart dumplings look like shiny snowballs, and they make me feel festive every time I make them. Pork meatballs are covered in sweet rice and steamed until the rice is perfectly sticky and the meat is fluffy. I like it with a tiny dab of yuzu-kosho for accent. Or you can serve them the more classic way, with soy sauce mixed with karashi (Japanese mustard) or ponzu. – Naoko
1 rice cup (3/4 cup/180 ml) sweet rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon sake
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 pound (450 g) ground pork
1 large egg
3 medium-size dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated, trimmed, and diced small
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely minced yellow or sweet onion
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons katakuriko (potato starch)
2 tablespoons sake
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Yuzu-kosho, for serving
In a medium bowl, soak the sweet rice with enough water to cover the rice completely for 2 hours. Drain well and transfer it back to the bowl. Add the sake and salt and mix thoroughly.
To make the pork meatballs: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead by hand until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Divide the pork mixture into 16 portions and shape them into balls (about 1 1/2 inches/3.5 cm in diameter) by hand. Dip each ball into the sweet rice and, using your hands, coat it completely with rice. Press down lightly on the rice so that it sticks.
Prepare the donabe according to the basic steaming instructions below, lining the steam grate with one of the suggested liners. Arrange the dumplings on the lining. Cover and steam over upper medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, or until the meat and rice are cooked through. Serve with yuzu-kosho at the table.
Fill about 70 percent of the donabe body with water.
Set the steam grate in place and cover with the lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high to high heat.
3. Once the donabe steamer is ready, simply place the ingredients either directly atop the grate or on a plate or a bed of napa cabbage, green leaf lettuce, green cabbage, or bean sprouts. (This will help prevent the ingredients from sticking to the grate without clogging the holes, thus easier cleaning after use, and you can eat the bed, too!) Cover and cook until done. Other options for holding the ingredients are a bowl, a sheet of parchment paper punched with holes, or a mat of bamboo leaves.
Rolling with it for Tokyo Thursdays #308
(*Reprinted with permission from Donabe, by Kyle Connoughton and Naoko Moore, copyright 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright 2015 by Eric Wolfinger)