Friday, 16 August 2013

parsnip and pine-nut soya veggie burger with homemade bun



... our London office is situated on the corner of St Martin's Lane and Long Acre in the heart of the West End where Soho meets Covent Garden... my window looks out onto a world where everything is happening ... if it's going on in the world it's probably going on outside my window.  Sometimes this is an incredible thing and at others, as you can imagine, it gets a little tiresome... one of the views from my window is that of the queue outside Five Guys, London's latest addition to the tumour that is the trend for burger... many have their opinion of how and when this love of burgers started, none better put than by the brilliant Food Urchin and although I do love a good burger myself but I have to say there is something rather vile about what I see on a day to day basis from my window...

... firstly the smell is acrid... it's like a continuous burning flesh smell, sweet and aromatic and perfect for the 15 minutes you may spend within the joint but on a daily basis it burns the lining of your nostrils and makes me think evil things about five guys i've never met and a giant barbecue... secondly there's the brown paper bags dripping in grease - it can only take 5 second to walk from the counter to the exit but every single person that departs holding a bag of grease must surely think twice about what they're about to eat... thirdly the burgers themselves - now this isn't a review of the product because I haven't yet had the pleasure but from what i've seen I doubt i'm missing much... They say the eyes are the windows to the stomach, well you can poke mine out with cocktail sticks for the layered mess of bun, meat and cheese i've been fortunate enough to clap my eyes upon... and finally let us discuss the queues... tourists (for it is only tourists i've ever seen) begin their line-up at roughly 11:15 and continue this way until about 14:45... I mean, really?  REALLY?


parsnip and pine-nut soya veggie burgers
all that said I really do love a burger, it reminds me of being a child... that juicy, dripping-down-the-chin, barbecue burnt, hand-held treat... and of course with all the burger smell in my brain I simply had to make something we could tuck into.  I knew I wanted to go veggie because I think burgers are all about sharing and The Viking loves anything sandwiched... I also had a heap load of parsnips in the fridge and felt they'd make a great addition to the soya mix to pep it up and take it away from it's 'fake meat' blandness... the added cheese, left in chunks, gives me that dripping down the chin moment all burger eating should have...

makes 4 large burgers (and 6 rolls)
for the bread rolls
400g strong white bread flour
300ml luke warm water
1 teaspoon fast action yeast
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil for kneading

for the burgers
one 87g sachet of soya mix - rehydrated with water
2 parsnips - finely grated
8 medium button mushrooms - finely chopped
5 spring onions - finely chopped
2 tablespoons pine-nuts
150g hard cheese - pulled into chunks
fresh herbs - I used thyme and rosemary
1 egg - beaten

rehydrate the soya mix in a large bowl and set aside

in a pan gently saute the mushrooms and spring onions along with the herbs and plenty of butter and pepper until nice and soft - add this to the large bowl

grate the the parsnips into the bowl then add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together with your hands

once thoroughly mixed, form into four patties, wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for at least an hour

make the bread rolls using the low-knead method, then divide into six rounds once you reach the final rising stage - bake them till golden and risen

to cook the burgers, fry them in a little oil on both sides for about 5 mins until golden then pop them onto a baking tray and into an oven on about 180C for another 10 minutes

split the buns and serve with your choice of salad, dressings and whatever takes your fancy


eat and of course, enjoy!

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