Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wild Rice Burgers and Fries

There is a restaurant in town called Fitger's Brewhouse that makes the most fantastic wild rice burgers. Now that we have kids, we don't get there as often because we like to linger there rather than mowing through our meal as fast as possible before the kids lose interest and begin behaving like imps. And so I invented my own version of the wild rice burger because it is so tasty and popular with the folks in my family and we all eat better in the comfort of our own home, where nobody is judging our table manners.

Rhinosaur River Wild Rice Burgers

1/2 cup wild rice, uncooked
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup plus extra of fine bread crumbs, seasoned or unseasoned, your choice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the wild rice according to the directions on the package. Cool to room temp, or, if you are in a pinch, rinse in cold water. I know that washes away some of the vitamins and stuff, but trust me-if you are in a hurry, it is better to wash away some vitamins than to have wild rice and scrambled egg burgers.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cheese. Mix well. Add rice and mix again. Slowly add the bread crumbs and mix, adding more if needed, until the "dough" sticks together and is not too wet. If your mix is too dry, add another egg and more bread crumbs, too, if needed. I generally use about 3/4 cup of crumbs, but it depends on how big your egg is and how wet the rice is. And maybe how humid the air is. Who the heck knows?

On a cutting board or other flat surface, form the rice dough into four patties. I cook them on a pancake griddle at 300 degrees, six minutes on each side, or until done. After the 12 minutes are up, I throw a slice of cheese on each and continue to cook until the cheese is melty and delicious. If I am with it enough, I will grill the buns as well, as that adds something extra tasty to the mix. Add fixings to your liking.

Dana likes to top her wild rice burgers with stray cheddar bunnies. SHE thinks this looks mouth watering, as you can see.

Nora tops hers with ketchup and home fries. That recipe is pretty basic, but here it is anyway. I made these up, too, but really-you probably made this same recipe up yourself.

Oven Fries

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, combine:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to your liking
2 cloves of garlic, pressed

Slice about 6 potatoes however you like them: fingers, rounds, whatever. Toss them with the seasoned olive oil. Dump it onto the baking sheet and arrange into a single layer. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Check on them at that point. You can stir them up and let them brown to your liking. I usually do about 28 minutes or so, but since everyone's oven is different, I suggest checking on them at 20 minutes, just to be safe.

I want to point out that most nights, I serve healthy appetizers while I cook dinner. We frequently have veggies with or without dip, fruit, etc. Tonight I cut up a fresh pineapple and we ate the entire thing while I cooked. So while there may not be produce on the plates, rest assured that there WAS produce in our bellies.

I have been tweaking the burger recipe for several years and I am not certain I have found the perfect balance yet. So if you tweak it and want to share your changes with me, I would be most appreciative.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

found your blog searching for a wild rice burger recipe. Going to try it .... sounds delish. I think i might read up on your crafting blog.

(p.s. Kristin, mom to Erin, from ECFE years (4? 5? )ago, I think at Congdon)