Monday, January 9, 2012

Farro and Mushroom Burgers

If you're craving a bacon double cheese burger with secret sauce, this is not going to satisfy. But these are nice vegetarian burgers and even my six-and-a-half-year-old liked them (I didn't tell her there were mushrooms in there until she was halfway through her dessert). And the fact that she ate more the next night, even after she knew about the mushrooms, definitely tells me they're worth making.

Makes 10 patties

3/4 cup farro (125 g)
1 pound red potatoes (500 g, about 3)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (90 g)
1 sprig fresh rosemary, needles removed and chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
5 to 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (75 to 120 ml)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. brown mushroom caps, finely chopped (500 g)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dry white wine, dry vermouth, or water (15 ml)
1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (50 g)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs (50 g)

1.      Bring 2 1/4 cups (540 ml) of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the farro, return to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low, cooking until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff the farro with a fork, cover and set aside.
2.      While the farro cooks, boil the potatoes. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the potatoes, return the water to a boil, and cook until a paring knife easily slips into the center of the largest potato, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Once the potatoes are cool, peel them and place them in a large bowl.
3.      Place the rosemary and thyme in a large skillet along with 5 tablespoons of the oil and the black pepper. Heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Once the herbs start cracking, after about 1 1/2 minutes, add the mushrooms and salt. Cook the mushrooms until they release their liquid and the pan is dry again, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the potatoes and set aside.
4.      Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft and just starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the wine (or Vermouth or water) and stir to work in any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and scrape the shallots into the bowl with the mushrooms and potatoes. Add the parmesan along with the farro. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the ingredients together.
5.      For the mixture into 10 patties. Place the panko in a shallow dish and press the top and bottom of each patty into the panko to evenly coat. Heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil in a clean large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 5 patties and cook on each side until nicely browned and crusty, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove the patties from the skillet and place them on a plate. Repeat with the remaining patties, adding more oil between batches if necessary. Serve hot.

barely adapted from Masala Farm by Suvir Saran
cooked farro

If you can't find farro, you could make these
with brown rice or another whole grain.
boiled red potatoes
skinned potatoes
rosemary and thyme
herbs cooking
mushrooms added
(I finely chopped mine in the food processor)
mushrooms cooked
shallots cooking
everything in a bowl
formed into a patty
dredging in panko
pan frying
The first night we ate these on
their own and they were good.
The next day, at my daughter's request, we ate them on buns
with ketchup like real hamburgers and that was good too.

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