Today, I finally made the Southwestern Tofu Burgers recipe I had marked in The Vegan Table. You can find the recipe here. It's the 5th recipe down. First, I'd like to say they are very tasty and not at all spicy hot, so the person eating the burger can dress it up to the fire level he or she prefers. That being said, they do not stay together enough to be eaten like a burger. I ate mine without a bun with some vegetarian refried beans, Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, and taco sauce on it. Here's a picture, but really, you can't tell what in the heck I'm eating because of the toppings. :::smile::: And yes, that IS a Power Rangers plate. :)
The preparation was relatively easy. I prepared the tofu in a big bowl. I just used my hands to squeeze the water out of it. I first tried an old bacon press I had (but never used) to try to press down on the tofu, but I realized when I started to break it up that the press had removed minimal water.
Next, I combined the ground flax seed with water for a couple of minutes. It sat a while (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) while I prepared the rest of the ingredients and got quite thick.
One of my favorite food preparation gadgets is my Vidalia Onion Chopper. You can get them online, but I bought mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It made SHORT work of the red pepper that had to be finely diced. It took me maybe 2 minutes, probably less. I love that thing. I use it to chop veggies for salads, too. Makes the perfect sized pieces of green pepper, carrot, and cucumber. I use it to chop nuts and dice black olives. If you don't have one, you truly don't know what you're missing. I've only had mine about 6 months and can't believe how much I use it.
The burger mix has corn, peppers, and a variety of spices. I had some dried jalapeno on hand and added 1/2 teaspoon. I thought, combined with the cayenne pepper, it would make the burgers too hot, but it didn't. As you can see, there were a lot of ingredients.
I first stirred the ingredients with a wooden spoon before using my hands to make sure the spices were mixed in thoroughly and that the mixture was wet enough to hold together as burgers.
I use an old burger press made by Tupperware to form the burgers. I like them to be uniform and actually look like burgers versus the misshapen hockey pucks I can make by hand. They actually were holding together quite nicely when I was making them.
They seemed to be doing well in the pan, too. I chose to pan fry my burgers in canola oil in a large skillet.
However, taking them out of the skillet was more of a challenge. As you can see, they were falling apart a bit. I'm not sure why they didn't hold together well, but they didn't.
The recipe actually cautions to be careful to keep the patties intact. Some of them just didn't make it. There was no way they were going to stay intact.
The bottom line on this recipe is that it tastes great. It has a wonderful flavor and filled my craving for a southwestern dish perfectly. It dresses up with a variety of condiments well. I think the crumbled burgers would be perfect in a flour tortilla with some taco toppings. I probably will not make this into burgers again. I think the next time I make it, I'll try cooking it in the skillet as a "crumbly" taco filling and see how that goes. It would almost have to be cooked like hash browns so the entire bottom got crispy brown before turning it over. In that case, I'll also add a handful of black beans. I'll try it again at some point in the future and post my progress.