Monday, May 17, 2010

Portobello Burgers

This is the first time I'm pulling out my grill pan for the summer season! Alas, I don't have a real outdoor grill, but definitely use one if you do. Otherwise, a stove-top version works in a pinch.

The original recipe for these burgers called for onion sandwich buns, but I couldn't find a vegan version in the store. You could probably go ahead and use regular whole wheat burger buns (such as Whole Foods), but I decided to use my bread machine's Onion Rye Roll recipe, so that I'd get that onion-flavor in each bite.

To make the rolls, start by pouring 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice into a measuring cup. Fill with plain soy milk to measure 1/2 cup, and let stand 5 minutes to clabber (sour) the mixture. Voila - vegan 'buttermilk'!

Place 6 tablespoons of the 'buttermilk' in the basket of your bread machine (you can discard the leftover few tablespoons), along with 1/4 cup warm water (between 80 and 90 degrees), 4 teaspoons molasses, 2 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup finely chopped onions (patted dry), 1 and 1/4 cups bread flour, 1/2 cup rye flour, 3 tablespoons potato starch, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast, 2 and 1/4 teaspoons caraway seeds, and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vital gluten flour.

As with all bread machine recipes, it's important to load the ingredients in the order listed, since the yeast can't touch the wet ingredients! Set the machine to "pizza dough" and it will go through a kneading and rising cycle.

Once done, transfer to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until the flour is incorporated and the dough is no longer sticky. Divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, then pat into a 3-inch circle and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for about 30 to 40 minutes. Dust them with flour and make 2 crossed slashes across the top of each roll, about 1/4-inch deep; bake at 400 degrees for 22 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. You'll only need 4 of the rolls for these burgers tonight, but save the rest for another use!

Now onto the burgers. In a large zip-top bag, combine 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 minced garlic clove. Place 4 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps in the bag, and let marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

Note: I didn't have a zip-top bag large enough, so I made the marinade in a shallow baking dish, and added the mushrooms to that, turning them occasionally so that both sides would marinate equally.

While the mushrooms marinate, preheat your grill or grill pan to medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Cut a small red bell pepper in half, and discard the seeds and membranes. Grill the pepper until blackened (about 15 to 20 minutes). The original recipe said to turn the pepper occasionally, but I pretty much kept it skin-side down so the skins would blacken. Once blackened, place the pepper halves in a zip-top bag and let stand for 10 minutes, then peel off the skin. Save one half of the pepper for another use; finely chop the other half, and place in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (such as the canola mayo from Spectrum Foods), 1/2 tsp. olive oil, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper; set aside.

Remove the portobello mushrooms from the marinade, and discard the marinade. Grill the mushrooms on your grill or grill pan coated with cooking spray for 4 minutes on each side.

Place your sandwich buns (whether homemade or store bought!) on the grill for 30 seconds on each side.

To assemble the burgers, spread 2 tablespoons of the 'mayonnaise' mixture on the top half of each bun. Place 1 mushroom on the bottom half of each bun, and top with 1 (1/4-inch thick) tomato slice, and 1 leaf of curly leaf lettuce; cover with the top half of the bun.

Each burger is 260 calories.

Note: a couple of mistakes that I made. You don't need to scrape out the gills from the portobello caps, which I did automatically before realizing I needn't have. Also, when making my onion rolls, I accidentally added 2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, not 3/4 teaspoon! Normally, I'm pretty careful about salt intake, so I guess my sodium levels can suffer for one day...

plain soy milk $2.49
rye flour $2.99
vital wheat gluten $3.49
balsamic vinegar $4.99
portobello mushroom caps $6.98
red bell pepper $1.44
vegan mayonnaise $3.99
tomato $1.01
curly leaf lettuce $2.49

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance