I’ve got some really big news to share! If you’re following on Twitter or Facebook you may already know however, recently I was selected by William Morrow Cookbooks to participate in their “Serious Sandwich Cookalong” to celebrate the release of Emeril Lagasse’s latest cookbook, Kicked-Up Sandwiches. Over the next three weeks I’ll be making several of the recipes from this book. You can follow my journey here and find out about my co-bloggers by visiting William and Morrow’s Cookbook blog, The Secret Ingredient. It was hard for me to pick the sandwiches that I wanted to make but I tried to choose varied recipes to represent what’s available. I’ll admit I was skeptical when I heard sandwich cookbook, I mean seriously what could there possibly be inside? Lots friends, LOTS of great recipes!
In Wisconsin right now it is cranberry season. There are bogs floating fresh cranberries (cranberries grow on low vines, when they are ripe the field is flooded and the ripe berries float to the top). There is even a cranberry festival that just happened last weekend. Did you know WI is the #1 cranberry producer in the US, harvesting nearly 60% of the nation’s crop last year? How could I not start with such a local treasure? I have to admit as I started combining the ingredients it became clear this would be a really great item to have for vegetarians on a Thanksgiving table. It smelled just like Thanksgiving! While the recipe has a few moving parts you can prepare the chutney and vinegarette ahead of time and store until ready to use. The actual burger part comes together fast.
This is the base of the burgers. While Emeril prefers chopping, I tossed the ingredients into my food processor. It’s a standard base using onions, garlic, celery, and walnuts. I broke them all down and then toasted to bring out the nut oils and remove chunks that I knew my kids wouldn’t eat. Lentils and rice make up the rest of the burger.
The recipe calls for a lot of spices to bring out some flavor. I think this is really great, as veggie burgers can very easily be bland and tasteless – not so here. The spices, along with dried cranberries really help to make the flavors pop.
After mixing all of the ingredients together, and with the help of some binders (but only a little – not much filler here!) the burgers were ready to cook. Emeril instructs pan frying them for a few minutes on each side however I just baked these on parchment and a cookie sheet. I found it helpful to use a measuring cup to scoop the mixture and then form patties on the cooking surface. They only took about 20 minutes on 350F to bake and came out moist.
This is the cranberry vinaigrette that dresses the lettuce topping. By far one of my favorite parts of the dish. I couldn’t get enough of this stuff!! Truthfully my kids were not into it and opted for ketchup and mustard instead.
I didn’t bother to tell my kids that these were veggie sandwiches, and they munched away. K even asked if he could forgo the bun and just eat the burger. I have some of the “meat” mixture held over in the fridge. I’m thinking these will taste even better the 2nd day after the flavors have combined more. This recipe was successful in our house!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I did receive the Kicked-Up Sandwiches Cookbook for free in order to participate. I will not be sharing the complete recipe for each sandwich as this compromises the integrity and intellectual property of the cookbook author. If you would like the complete recipe for this sandwich, cookbooks can be pre-ordered from the publisher.