I'll willingly admit to a little cooking trickery from time to time, especially with my husband.
Dave is much less picky now than when we first met, but he still has strong responses to a few foods; so much so that he refuses to touch some dishes if they come in contact with particular ingredients.
He reacts with horrified disgust to things like ketchup, mustard, raw onions, olives, and particularly, above all else, mushrooms.
Dave hates mushrooms the way I hate...well, nothing. I don't think any of my food aversions can even come close to competing with his hatred of mushrooms.
Anyway, every once in a while I try to throw one or more of these ingredients into a recipe just to see how Dave responds.
A few days ago I offered to put together a meatless burger recipe for a weekend meal, and muttered "with lots of mushrooms" under my breath.
I put the recipe together, grilled up a patty on our little sandwich press and tried to look nonchalant as Dave took his first bite. "Whoa...these are amazing!" he exclaimed.
My Cheshire cat smile was obviously a little too telling. There was panic in his eyes as he asked, "Wait, what did you put in them?" "Are there mushrooms in here?!"
Oh yes, Dave, there are mushrooms. Lots and lots of mushrooms. But they're ground up into the patty mixture with other delicious ingredients, and the mushroom taste is absolutely imperceptible to mushroom-phobes.
This is an all-around great burger. It's well-spiced but not too spicy, stays together when grilled, and has a nice, crispy crust with a satisfying, burger-esque texture.
If I can get Dave to not only eat but love these burgers, I have no doubt even the most staunch mushroom haters will fall in love at first bite.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Makes 6 burgers
1 pkg. extra-firm tofu, pressed
1 1/2 cup rolled oats, ground
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red pepper, sliced
3 Tbsp. brown rice miso paste
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried savory
1 tsp. safflower oil
1/2 dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Fresh cracked pepper
1. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet on medium-high and cook onions for 5-6 minutes
2. Add garlic and cook for a minute, then mushrooms and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-6 minutes
3. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool
4. Meanwhile, combine tofu, miso, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, mustard, spices, salt and pepper to a food processor and mix for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides every minute or so
5. Add rolled oats and process for about 30 seconds
6. Scrape everything into a large mixing bowl and add onion mixture
7. Get right in there with your hands and smoosh, smoosh, smoosh!
8. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (I kept my bowl in for about 4 hours)
9. When ready to cook, heat a sandwich press, grill or skillet on medium-high
10. Shape the dough into six equal patties and brush the tops and sides with a bit of safflower oil
11. Cook each side for about 4-5 minutes, or until there's a nice, crispy brown crust and the middle is set
Dave topped his burger with lettuce, tomato, his phenomenal Ranch Sauce and a sliced Thai chili pepper.
What an amazing lunch!
Inspired by Let Them Eat Vegan!