Monday, March 30, 2015

Baked Burger




"The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger."
(Chris O'Brian)



What the Americans popularized around the globe as burgers, we had been eating, for years, as mutton cutlets, chicken cutlets, beef cutlets and potato cutlets. We put a cutlet between two slices of bread and it became a "non-veg sandwich," or "veg-sandwich as the case might be. A dash of tomato sauce, a few raw onion rings, a slice of tomato, and perhaps a splash of green chutney either inside or on the side as a dip.

Then, in the late 60's I was introduced to a 'cutlet' in a bun which was called a burger. This was at the American Embassy cafeteria. I gorged on beef burgeres, cheese burgers, hot dogs, and what I couldn't finish, I got packed in a doggie bag. Oh! yes, my sister rolled her eyes and thought I was a huge embarrassment, but I didn't care - I was a completely bowled over, thrilled to smithereens, thirteen year old, small town girl! 

The early 70's found burgers being sold in the restaurants and coffee houses in our modern but very small city. Needless to say that burgers were the rage. They were a sad apology for the real thing, but most never knew the real burger! The buns were shallow fried, crunchy and oily, awful really. The burgers were miserably thin and also deep fried, but because it was a novelty and a rage none of us wanted to become an outcast. So, although I knew what was what, I munched my way through tons of oily, fried buns.

Fast forward to the present...burgers are still the fast food rage with most youngsters...and history repeats itself, however, this time round it's the real McCoy....and MacDonald's is no stranger even in small towns, thanks to highway drive-throughs  and restaurants..

The burger is here to stay.

In order to have my burgers and not regret it, I bake them. It's simple, easy and healthy. This goes well with Baked Omelettes....http://chef-on-the-run.blogspot.com/2015/03/baked-omelettes.html


Ingredients

Chicken mince (thighs).....................1/2 kg (you could use mutton mince, just adjust baking temp)
Onion................................................2 tbsps, chopped very small
Garlic...............................................1 n 1/2 clove, minced
Ginger..............................................1" finely minced
Green chilli......................................acc to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
Green coriander..............................3 tbsps finely chopped
Egg white.........................................1 egg, large
Besan...............................................1 heaped tbsp, dry roasted to a pink
(Besan is white chickpea flour. Harina de garbanzo)
Bread crumbs..................................abt 1-2 tbsps or as required acc to quantity of mince
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste



Roast the besan, no oil, in a non-stick flat pan on low flame. Keep stirring constantly, or it will burn. When it starts to release a nice roasted gram aroma, and turns a light brown-pink colour, remove from pan into a another vessel, to prevent over roasting.

Add all the ingredients, except egg white to the mince. Mix well using your hand.
Now add the egg white, and mix well again.
Heat a bit of water in a small pan and bring it to a boil. Add a tiny ball of mince to the boiling water. Allow to cook for a minute or two, then taste for adequate seasoning.
Heat oven at 185-190gas mark. (go acc to temperature on whichever oven you use. Mine's a gas operated one and quirky, can never say with it!)
In a small bowl pour a bit of water, and add two-three drops of oil. dip your fingers in this mixture and rub onto your palms.
Now take the desired amount of mince and make a ball, needn't be neat as the mince might be a bit sticky and limp.
Now pat it into a patty of desired size and thickness. Turn it over in the plate of bread crumbs, so it is well coated. Place on a baking tray.
When all are done, pop the tray into the oven.
After about 15 minutes turn the burger over. If it isn't cooked on the bottom, allow to bake for another 5-7 minutes.
Do the same for the other side.
If both sides are light brown and the burger is cooked through take out.
Do not bake too long as the burger will dry. Chicken mince cooks fast.
Spray a wee bit of EVOO on both sides. (remember, just a WEE bit)




Enjoy a guilt free burger trip that doesn't start a thousand pound journey! (provided you don't use mayonnaise and loads of cheese)  

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