And just like that. One morning you wake up and it’s a different year. Where do I even begin?
Obviously, with a recipe, but also with random thoughts from my brain.
It seems like a month has passed since my last posts went up before the new year. And it’s strange, I feel nervous for this first post in 2015, even after 5 1/2 years (ah!) of blogging. There’s a sort of pressure at the beginning of the new year, self imposed—I’m sure, that makes me feel anxious. Like Sunday anxiety about the week ahead but for a whole year.
I should probably have a ton of IT’S A NEW YEAR energy but right now I’m like…where do I start?
We had a fabulous holiday season this year, ending with a very memorable visit from my parents. They came on New Year’s Eve morning and left this past Monday. I wanted to take a full break (okay, maybe 93% of a break) from the computer and really take time to relax while my parents were around.
I spent the week before working on never-ending house projects and made a ton of progress. My office got a major face life (it’s amazing what paint can do), interior doors were painted, carpets were steam cleaned (the worst), and a few small projects were finally finished.
While they were here our only major plan was a marathon New Years Day party full of friends, football (GO BUCKS!), brunch, mimosas, snack-style lunch, beer, and pizza for dinner. The party was insanely fun. I want to do it all over again right now.
But a few times while my parents were here I had this feeling of anxiousness about not doing any work and not having a real plan for 2015 yet. I wasn’t missing any deadlines and the blog world was pretty much on vacay, but I couldn’t shake it. Then I was mad at myself for feeling this way which made things even worse. Ugh, I could kill my brain sometimes.
This was probably the first time I had taken a complete break from work with both parents in town. My dad doesn’t come as often as my mom because he still works (more than) full time, and he still usually has work when he’s in town. This time he barely opened his email. And when my mom comes to town I work pretty much the entire time she’s here. Also, with snow on the ground that meant no golf for the boys. Chris also had a stretch of 4 1/2 days off (a rarity) and we really had no plans beyond that party.
After realizing this situation has never once happened before and who knows when it will happen again, I decided that me taking a few days completely off were approximately 1 million times more important than worrying for 1 more minute about work.
I was then able to calm myself down and soak up the time playing games, guessing flavors of caramels (thanks for that one, mom), dining out, watching movies (and falling asleep during them), taking daily walks with my dad and the dogs, cooking with my mom, having help in the kitchen, sleeping in, and trying to remain present.
It was the very best.
This past Sunday I was asking my mom what I should make this week for the blog and the first thing she mentioned was an enchilada burger. I have no idea where the idea came from but she should probably come up with all of my recipe ideas from here on out.
All the flavors of enchiladas wrapped up in a veggie burger.
I actually put corn tortillas IN the burger!
And instead of a bun we’re eating these on partially-crisped corn tortillas.
These burgers hold together extremely well and can be cooked in a pan or in the oven. The texture turned out a bit different (softer in the pan, stiffer in the oven) but both are delicious in their own way. To me, it’s a little more enchilada-authentic to bake the burgers and then bake enchilada sauce on top, but the sear from the sauté pan is also hard to beat. I just can’t decide, so I’ll leave the final decision up to you.
Enchilada Veggie Burgers gluten-free, vegan // yields 7 medium patties
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced red pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced baby bella mushrooms (or cremini/button)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 4oz can mild diced green chiles
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- cayenne pepper
- salt + pepper
- cooking oil
- 1 3/4 cup black beans (rinsed + drained)
- 1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 4-6 tablespoons cup corn flour
- 9, 6-inch corn tortillas
- enchilada sauce, limes, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, green onion, cheese, etc. (to top)
Heat a pan over medium with 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the red onion and stir frequently for about 3-4 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook for another 4-5 minutes until softened. Add in the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Next, add in the mushrooms and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes. Stir frequently. Stir in the corn, green chiles, cumin, cayenne (if using), and about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Place 1 1/4 cup of the cooked onion mixture into your food processor with 1 cup of the beans. Blend or pulse until contents are of similar size and starting to bind together (about 20 pulses). Texture will be similar to egg salad. (Refer to photo 5.)
Place excess beans in a large bowl and lightly mash with the back of a fork or spoon. Place the rest of the onion mixture, food processor contents, cornmeal, and 1/4 cup corn flour into the bowl. Stir to combine. Taste a bit of the mixture and add more salt, pepper, and/or cayenne if needed.
Stack 2 tortillas and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Stir into the bean mixture. Cover and place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to let the flours absorb some of the liquid.
While chilling, make enchilada sauce. (Or use store-bought.)
Heat a small pan over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. Once hot, add 1 tortilla and cook until starting to bubble, about 30 seconds - 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side. Place on a cooling rack and continue with the remaining tortillas (or however many you’re going to use at this time). Re-warm in the oven before serving if desired.
Before cooking, check the moisture of the burger mixture. If it seems too wet add a few tablespoons more of corn flour. The mixture will be fairly moist (definitely not stiff/dry or soggy) and easily formed into patties.
Heat a pan or skillet over medium (or a touch below) with enough oil to coat the pan. Gather about 1/2 cup of the mixture, pack into a ball, and then press into a patty between your hands (about 1/2 inch thick) and pack in the edges. Place patty in heated pan and repeat. Cook each patty for about 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes. If browning too quickly reduce your heat. You want a nice golden brown color on both sides. Repeat with remaining patties. (Keep warm in a 200° F preheated oven.)
Place 1 tortilla on a plate with enchilada sauce, the veggie burger, more enchilada sauce, a big squeeze of lime, and whatever other toppings you’d like. Or, if you want to roll in the tortilla cut the burger in half and make 2 tortilla wraps.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Place a piece of parchment on a large baking sheet. Gather about 1/2 cup of the mixture, pack into a ball, and then press into a patty between your hands (about 1/2 inch thick) and pack in the edges. Place each patty on the parchment lined pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes then flip and bake for another 10-12 minutes. Spoon on about 2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce over each burger. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit.
Plate as described in the skillet method.
Notes: If you don’t have finely ground cornmeal you can grind your cornmeal to a finer grind in a blender or food processor. Stop before it’s soft like flour. Masa harina can be subbed for the corn flour if needed. I don’t recommend using all corn flour or all cornmeal as the texture of the burger will change.
Many more recipes + life thoughts coming soon.