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Mushroom-rice burgers with cheddar cheese
from The Barbecue! Bible(Workman Publishing, 1998)
When I was growing up, no one knew from vegetarian burgers. Today, they've become
big business, as more and more health-conscious Americans adopt at least partial
vegetarian diets. The following recipe combines mushrooms, oats and brown rice
into a patty that looks somewhat like a hamburger and has a rich, earthy flavor that
could almost be described as meaty. It's also a great way to use up leftover brown
rice. Note that vegetarian burgers are more fragile than beef or lamb burgers.
Cook them on a well-oiled vegetable grate and turn as gently as possible with a
1. Prepare the burger mixture. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft but not brown, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in the brown rice and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the oats, cheese and egg. Add salt and pepper. If the mixture seems wet, add the bread crumbs. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until firm, 3 to 4 hours.
3. Line a baking sheet or large plate with plastic wrap. Wet your hands slightly and form the vegetable mixture into 4 patties. Place the patties on the prepared baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat grill to high.
5. When ready to cook, place a vegetable grate on the hot grill and preheat it for
5 minutes. Arrange the tomato and onion slices, pickles and lettuce on a platter
and set aside. Oil the vegetable grate and place the patties on it. Grill, turning
carefully with a spatula, until nicely browned on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes per
side, as the burgers cook, toast the buns over the flames as well. Serve as you
would any burger, piling the buns high with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and
smearing on the ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard - or all three.