Given how much I’ve eaten over the holidays I have cooked surprising little. Last night I got back in the kitchen and set out to make a kick-ass bistro style vegetarian meal of bean burgers and sweet potato fries with garlic aioli!
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
Place the garlic and salt in the mortar and grind into a paste. Mix in 1 tsp of mustard and the egg yolks. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil one teaspoon at a time while consistently whisking. Whisking emulsifies the oil and suspends the emulsions in the eggs, adding the oil too quickly will cause it to separate from the eggs. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, and remaining mustard. Whisk in the rest of the oil, again 1 teaspoon at a time. The aioli should thicken to a bit thinner than store-bought mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until need, it should last a week or two in the fridge.
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbs of cumin
- 1 small package of white mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3 carats, peeled and grated
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbs parsley (fresh or dried)
Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cumin and simmer for about 5 minuets. Add the mushrooms and grated carrots and cook until moisture is evaporated. Meanwhile, mash the beans in a bowl, add parsley, then the mushroom mixture and salt and pepper to taste. With floured hands, separate the paste into six equal portions and form into patties. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Place under broiler until browned (about 8 min) then flip and brown on the other side. Serve on buns with all your favourite burger toppings!
Sweet Potato Fries
HA! You think I had time to make them from scratch! Sorry, it was a weeknight, and I barley had the time and energy to get this far. I used a bag of McCain’s Sweet Potato Crinkle Cut Fries. They take 20 min the oven, and don’t taste haft bad for frozen. They are supposed to be made with all natural ingredients, which greatly depends on your idea of natural, but they defiantly satisfied my need for a bistro-style side dish. And they worked wonderfully with the aioli.
All this was served with a nice tall can of a Canadian Pilsner called Steam Whistle. This fresh crisp beer uses only four, all natural, GMO-free ingredients; pure spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast). There is a brewery in Toronto, so I know its relatively local, and the entire company has made significant commitments to the environment that you can read about here … or maybe I’ll blog about later.
It was delicious dinner, although the patties fell apart a little, and I’m looking forward to the left overs. As a still new vegetarian, it’s nice to be able to enjoy old favourits like burgers in a non-copy-cat ground soy form. Given how simple, cheap, and enjoyable this meal was, I’m surprised I don’t see more beanburgers on restaurant menus, or even in fast food chains? To paraphrase Detective Clouseau >with a comically bad French accent< “I would like to buy a beanburger!”.