Go veggie fungi with this burger from Shroom, Mind-Bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms (Andrews McMeel, September 2014) by Becky Selengut.
Spicy Black Bean, Poblano, and Oyster Mushroom Burgers with Red Onion Jam
I eat beef, so when I decided to create a mushroom-based vegetarian burger, I wanted it to be as satisfying as a beef burger without it being beef-like (most vegetarians will tell you that’s not really the point). The few times I’ve tried veggie burgers, I’ve been amazed that people could regularly eat them; it would take a lot of mustard and ketchup for me to get past how dry most of them are. This is one of several recipes in this book that you can make for vegetarians (or really, anyone) who is an avowed mushroom hater. The mushrooms take a background role in these burgers, providing texture (from a shorter cooking time on the stems) and umami. The feta just starts to melt when the burgers are done browning, forming little pools of awesome. This is a perfect dish to make if you have leftover beans and rice in the house. Keep in mind that it is really important to squeeze your hands together when forming the burgers. This helps to bind the mixture and keep them from crumbling in the pan. That being said, this is a messy burger affair, so tuck a napkin into your shirt when eating. There is a fair amount of prep involved in making these, so feel free to double the recipe. Freeze any uncooked burgers on a baking pan and then pack them away in a container or freezer bag for another day.
Spicy Lime and Chipotle Mayo
½ cup mayonnaise (I love Best Foods/Hellmann’s)
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (substitute spicy pure chili powder of your choice)
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
Red Onion Jam and Burgers
2 poblano chiles
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 small red onions, small diced (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1¼ cups Mushroom Stock (see below)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 portobello mushroom, gills and stem removed, cap small diced
½ pound fresh oyster mushrooms, stems separated from caps and both small diced
1 bunch cilantro, stems chopped to make ¼ cup, leaves reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked brown rice
¾ cup cooked and drained black beans, squished with a potato masher (leave some texture)
3 ounces French or Israeli feta
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
4 hamburger buns, toasted if you like
To make the mayo, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, chili powder, and salt. Taste and add more salt if you’d like. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
To make the burgers, over a gas flame or under the broiler, blacken the poblano chiles (you want all parts to be blackened). Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil. After a moment, add the onions and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer until all the liquid is evaporated; continue to cook until the onions are caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes (add a little water if necessary if it gets too dry). Once the onions are browned and very soft, pull half of the onions out of the pan and reserve. Add the sugar to the pan and cook for a minute, then add the vinegar and the remaining ¼ cup stock. Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates. Scrape the red onion jam into a small bowl and set aside to serve with the rest of the toppings. No need to clean the pan—you’ll be using it again.
Remove and discard the skin and seeds from the roasted chiles and cut them into small dice. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan, along with the chiles and the reserved sautéed onions. Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped portobello, oyster mushroom caps, and cilantro stems and sauté until lightly browned and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, cumin, and black pepper and sauté for another minute or two. Add the chopped oyster mushroom stems and sauté for another minute or two, adding a little water if necessary. Add the contents of the pan to a big bowl, along with the rice, black beans, feta, 1 cup of the panko, and 1 tablespoon of the chipotle mayo. Mix well, and form into 4 large burgers (see headnote). Spread the remaining ½ cup panko onto a plate and coat each side of the burgers.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil. When the skillet heats up, carefully place the burgers in the skillet and cook until you get a nice deep dark brown sear on each side, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Spread the chipotle mayo all over the insides of the toasted buns. Pit, peel, and slice the avocado. Add the burgers to the buns and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and cilantro leaves.
You will not be sorry you took the time to make your own. As you cook and are busy prepping vegetables and such, e.g., carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, parsley, and thyme, rather than toss or compost the carrot tops and peels, celery ends and leaves, onion ends and cores, shiitake and button stems, thyme and parsley stems, and any other produce bits you collect, save them. (Skip vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, or anything with a dominating flavor or color that you wouldn’t want in a mushroom stock—no beets!)
To make the stock, add these vegetable scraps to a quart-size resealable plastic bag that lives in the freezer. When the bag is full, you are ready to make your stock. At the market, pick up a small onion, some dried porcini, and a handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle a little high-heat oil on a rimmed baking pan. Throw the shiitakes, along with the chopped-up onion, onto the pan, and toss with the oil. Roast until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a little wine or water, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan. Dump the mushrooms and onions, along with the liquid, into a stockpot along with the contents of that freezer bag (no need to thaw) and a few rehydrated pieces of dried porcini (along with the strained soaking liquid). Cover with 3 quarts water, chuck in about 5 peppercorns, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should end up with about 2 quarts mushroom stock. Want to make vegetable stock? Do the same thing, but just use fewer mushrooms and more vegetables (and a big flavor bonus if you roast some of the vegetables as you would the shiitake and onion). If you want to make mushroom stock but don’t have a full bag of trimmings in the freezer, just use an assortment of vegetables and mushrooms (equaling roughly 1 quart) and follow the same general procedure.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission, from Shroom, Mind-Bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms -Andrews McMeel, September 2014- by Becky Selengut, Photograph, Clare Barboza)