Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hot Tamale Burgers

Tonight's dinner was very disappointing. I'd had high hopes for it, as it had gotten a pretty good review on Joe's Blog. It's interesting, because in his review he mentioned how surprisingly well the patties stayed together. Not for us! I couldn't get them to stay together no matter how much I tried. It ended up being basically a Mexican stir-fry of rice and corn, with a chipotle kick to it. Not that that's a bad thing; in fact, it was pretty good. We rolled it up in chili-flavored tortillas with some sour cream. But I hate that I put in so much effort and bought special ingredients (like masa harina - what am I going to do with a 5 lb bag of masa harina?) for something that ended up being such a simple little failure. I don't know what went wrong and why it wouldn't bind, and I am disappointed with the result.

Here is the mess:
hot tamale

Hot Tamale Burgers
desertculinary.blogspot.com, originally from Vegetarian Times

1 cup short-grain brown rice
3 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, plus 2 teaspoons sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup instant masa harina
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
olive oil for brushing

In a medium saucepan, add rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, bell pepper, corn, chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin and salt - cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring a couple times, about 12-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together masa harina and broth - stir into the vegetable mixture in the skillet, recover and continue to cook over low for 10 more minutes. Stir the mixture once or twice during this time.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice, cilantro, lime juice and zest. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Using wet hands, evenly divide the mixture into 8 portions and form each into a burger shape. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat grill (or you can use something like The Griddler). Lightly brush the patties with olive oil - place on the grill and cook until golden and crusty on each side, about 7 minutes per.

Yield: 8 patties

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