Hooray For Black Bean Burgers!

I know that with my daily “what we had for dinner” blogging I am coming perilously close to the social media craziness that I have managed to avoid for many years.  But I am giving myself a pass because I truly believe I am doing a public service by sharing these recipes.  This was my second attempt to make a flavorful and texturally delicious black bean burger (the first, which I also blogged about, was a fail).  This recipe, found here  (a gorgeous blog by the way) combines black beans with red quinoa and the burgers are baked, not fried or sautéed.

I followed the recipe pretty much as written except I used a real egg instead of a substitute and I left out the grated beet which was only for color.  This recipe is good for only two people and a little short on leftovers.  Next time I will double it.  Here’s how the dish turned out on my plate…


and on David’s:


The burgers were firm throughout and had a bit of a “crust” from the brush of olive oil before baking.  The flavors from shallots, garlic, cumin and coriander were terrific.  We ate these with Chipotle Mayonnaise.  Ooh, so delicious. The recipe uses a jarred version but I chose to make my own from a Bobby Flay recipe.  It’s got great kick and adds a lot to the dish.  The recipe for the mayo is here.   As an aside, since we’ve gone veggie, our food processor is getting a workout and we haven’t turned on the grill once.  Different tools for different cuisine…

So I will sign off with my usual recommendation to give this recipe a try.  I’m planning to spend the rest of the evening doing something other than blog about our dinner.


Everyday Quiche

So let’s be honest.  Not every dinner can be a stunning masterpiece of slow-cooked flavors that takes a few hours to prepare.  Except for one scrambled egg dinner and a visit to our favorite Indian restaurant we’ve been cooking away preparing vegetarian dishes.  So what I was needing was the equivalent of the “roast chicken dinner”.  In other words, easy ingredients (most of which I have around), minimal prep and cook time, maximum flavor and guest-worthy in a pinch.

Enter today’s dinner- mushroom and cheese quiche  (rustic style):


The “rustic style” refers to the rather messy-looking  homemade crust.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.

I’ve always enjoyed quiche, but haven’t made one in years (like 30).  I think the last one I made had Durkee onion rings, (you know, the ones from the can) as a major ingredient.  So I scoured the internet to find some basic recipes.  There was quite a bit of variation out there, from the type of pan you use (straight versus curved sides) to the proportion of eggs to milk and/or cream to different types of fillings.  My plan was to try to find a simple recipe that we could doctor up with any combination of vegetables and cheese.  I knew that I wanted to use up some mushrooms, onions, jalapeño and shredded cheddar and parmesan cheeses that weren’t going to last much longer in my refrigerator.  So I settled on this recipe.

But first, the crust.  I’ve made my own pie crusts so I didn’t have any trepidation about making this one from scratch, especially because I decided to make the dough entirely in the food processor.  I had been slaving away using a pastry cutter which is slow and tiring, mostly because you need to use very cold butter to make a flaky crust.  But I had permission from The New York Times to use a processor.  The recipe is here.  Making the dough literally took 5 minutes, plus some refrigerator time and then the rolling out.  My crimping skills are still non-existent but this crust isn’t just an enhancement, it’s a must for truly delectable flavor.

The rest of the prep is so simple, and the only important tip is to remove as much moisture from the vegetables as possible so as not to have too much liquid in the dish.  For me that just meant sautéing the onions, jalapeño and mushrooms in olive oil until the mushrooms gave up all their liquid:


I spread these on the bottom of my pre-baked (8 minutes) crust.  Then I added the eggs, milk, cheeses, salt and pepper which had been whisked together.  I sprinkled some shredded parmesan on the top and exactly 45 minutes later it was done.  Served with a green salad it was a great meal:


Give this one a try for dinner or for brunch; I really think you’ll like it.  It’s veggie, it’s healthy (sort of), it’s easy and you don’t need to clean your oven after it’s done 🙂