Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spicy white bean - couscous burger

One of the nicest things about cooking in these modern times {do I sound like an old fart now?} is how it’s no longer a necessity to survive. Cooking is no longer simply the fulfillment of bodily need and in this line: it's no longer a chore or hassle you need to do to. 

You can now easily order in, take away or go out without wasting too much money or ruining your taste buds.
While only touching two buttons on your oven and a small time waiting, you can have a lasagna, mousaka or [fill in the blank]. 

beetroot- feta salad

This makes the way we cook feel less like a chore or routine and more like an art of personal (and social) pleasure.

The moment I start to chop vegetables, it feels like buying a new dress or holding hands with someone you love.
It isn’t necessary, but it surely does feel all kinds of awesome.

So yes; you can easily buy hundreds of premade vegetarian burgers in the supermarket. 

Yes, most of them taste pretty good. 
Yes, you can spend your time on watching stupid cat video’s instead of kneading white bean mash with garlic and lots of herbs. 

The question is now; do you want to buy ‘em premade? 
Or do you want to get your hands all dirty and spend some quality time with the veg’s/ yourself/ your sous-chef?

For me, the answer depends on my mood, the weather and the sous-chef.
How about you?

Spicy white bean couscous burger
yields 8 small burgers: 4 hungry guests
recipe adapted from: delicous. (nl) 02/2011

* The original recipe called for 4 large patties, I tweaked this to 8 smaller ones as the larger ones tended to fall apart in the frying pan and no one ever didn't like a mini-burger * 
I highly re

commend making this recipe in the early afternoon as I've noticed they do need some time sitting alone in the refrigerator. Otherwise they'll be stuborn as a toddler without his nap 
* These burgers can be easily adapted in a lot of ways. You can, for example, add herbs {thyme?} or a little grated cheese {parmesan?} for a different flavor profile * 
Recipe for the beetroot - feta salad can be found by clicking on this text. I replaced the parsley for some dandelion salad {veldsla}

100 g couscous
3 TS olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 t cumin
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped1 400 g can white beans, drainedzest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
for serving:
8 small crunchy, fresh bread rolls or buns, 
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced 
sweet chilisauce or ketchup!

one: add 100 ml cooking water to the couscous. cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
two: in a small pan, place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Caramelize the onions by placing them on a heavy-bottomed, wide pan with olive oil and cooking over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
three: add the garlic, cumin, cilantro, season with salt and pepper and cook another 2 minutes over low heat.
four: smash the white beans in a large bowl with a potato masher or fork (you shouldn’t see any whole beans, but you don’t want to make a puree either)
five: stir in the couscous, vegetables, spring onions and coriander.
six: wet your hands slightly and form the mixture into 8 small patties.
seven: refrigerate the patties for at least (!) 30 minutes
eight: heat a non-stick grilling pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil, enough to generously film the bottom of the pan. Place the patties carefully in the oil and cook over medium heat until just browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip and brown the opposite side.
nine: assemble burgers by layering lettuce, red onion, tomatoes and white bean - couscous patties and a dollop of ketchup or sweet-chilly sauce between a nice and firm bun.

music of the day: Laura Mvula - Green Garden


Emily Dickson said...

I absolutely adore couscous! I know some people can't stand the texture and think it's bland but I think it's gorgeous and it's just gotta have some extra flavors with it. I was half wondering about going vegeterian for 2 weeks just because I love veggies and this recipe might just be perfect for it! Thank you
from Emily
(ps I really love the picture on the top of your blog :D )

Nathalie said...

1. I would love to try out this recipe, it looks delicious!
2. I don't really agree with the part where you say cooking isn't a necessity anymore. I think lots of people get fooled by advertising, but industrial food (and lots of cheap restaurants / take-away places don't always use fresh products, but probably lots of cheap industrial products) really isn't healthy. Yes it tastes good and stays fresh for days, and most of all it's cheap, but really that's only due to food additives. I'm afraid to be healthy and know what gets inside of your body these days it's a necessity to cook yourself, with fresh products. But personally I'm a total fan of making it a hobby instead of seeing it as a constraint.

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