Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jalapeño Burgers and Avocado Fries

If I eat fried stuff, it's almost always onion rings. But last night, we gave fried avocado wedges a try. They will never take over the position of onion rings in my book, but they're fun because you dip them in salsa instead of ketchup.  I'm thinking anyone who had a penchant for fried mozzarella in another life would enjoy these.  If I make them again, I'll add a slice of onion to make an avocado/onion ring hybrid.

I used the recipe from American Vegan Kitchen. If you don't have the book but are interested, you can find a similar recipe on Tami's blog here. They are coated in a batter that is basically equal parts flour and beer, with a little lime juice; they fry up quite nicely.

I couldn't get a good shot of the inside, but here's a blurry one:

The burgers were sort of an experiment that turned out reasonably well. I baked a loaf of seitan, ground it up into mince, then sauteed it with some finely chopped mushrooms, onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers, oregano, a splash of vegan worcestershire and salt/pepper.  I tossed the mushroom/seitan mixture into a bowl and added a cup or so of  vital wheat gluten and a bit of water to get a patty-making consistency. Then, I browned them on the stove before baking them in the oven for about a half an hour.

They were soft, but held together well...if I made them again, I would add walnuts. They were fairly tasty and paired well with some vegan sour cream.

Baked seitan works especially well for making mince, I find.

seitan loaf

chunks o' seitan

seitan mince

mushroom/jalapeño/seitan patties

Now I'm off to carve these pumpkins:

See y'all Monday for  Vegan MoFo

Happy Halloween! 


  1. Avocado fries?! Now I've heard it all! That sounds absolutely creative, and crazy enough to spark my curiosity. Did they hold up well while frying? I am also impressed that you fry and are not ashamed to admit it. We indulge in deep frying about once or twice a year, and I don't feel guilty. The burger recipe looks intriguing as well. I think I'm going to have to give this dish a try, Rose. :-)

  2. im with BM!! never even thought!!! but i can imagine how creamy they were, all hot and....mmmm,lol. if i eat fried food im all about french fries! but not just any, del taco fries:) your fried avocado looks more like tempura! your poor post! i dont mean to overlook the rest of it! lol. making seiten is fun,i havent made any in almost a year? when my husband sees me make it then slice it or do whatever to it, he just cant believe how real it looks! try freezing some, then while its frozen, slice it on a mandolin(uh it might not be the best for an expensive mandolin..use a cheapy) then use greek spices and make a gyro!! it was the best thing i have ever made!

    were those the pumkins from your garden? cant wait to see what they turn out like!!

    im ready to read this nov!! lilly and i will be the "official" vegan mofo cheerleaders!

  3. Avacado fries? How crazy cool is that! They look really good and would be something fun to serve for company. Your burgers look delicious!

  4. I've never heard of avocado fries either. But I'm with DD when it comes to fried things — I go for potatoes, and preferably spicy ones. I will also indulge in fried tofu. :D That said, your avocado fries are alluring. Did you take advantage of yesterday's warm and sunny weather to dine alfresco?

  5. I totally take credit for this post because I told Rose to just show some good old Veggie Burgers and Fries. She, of course, had to grow her own wheat to make flour for her buns and gluten for her burgers etc. Hopefully, all that work burned off the calories in those Avocado Fries!

  6. First of all:

    Shen does deserve all the credit for this post. Shen: I didn't want to mention it, but since you brought it up: I grew the avocados too. (j/king) :P


    I was curious about how the avocados would hold up to frying too, so I got a ripe avocado that was on the firm side...I think as long as the avocado is firm enough to cut clean wedges from w/o smushing, it will fry up fine.

    "My name is Rose, and I'm not ashamed to fry." :D... Can't hurt every now and then.


    Yeah, fries are up there, but I'm an onion girl to the end. Great idea about the frozen seitan gyros! I've got to try that. The ponkies aren't from my garden...and you and lilly will make awesome MoFo cheerleaders!


    I had the same sort of reaction when I first saw the recipe, and I agree they would be a good party food with a bit of "wow" factor. :)


    You've reminded me that fried tofu is right up there...actually, I think tofu beats out onion rings, esp in a pad thai, or in a spicy sauce with eggplant...YUM...wait, fried eggplant is pretty awesome too...

    The weather was lovely yesterday wasn't it? Dining al fresco would have been lovely...unfortunately, we did not. And that's certainly not on the agenda today! :) I hope it clears before tomorrow night: I hoping for lots of trick or treaters.

  7. I am familiar with the avocado fries because I have a copy of *American Vegan Kitchen*, but it took someone braver than me (that is, you) to actually try them. They're quite beautiful. And I fully agree that baked seitan makes the best crumbles. Your burgers look great, and it sounds to me like you did everything perfectly; I'm surprised that they were soft - have you tried Tami's technique of pre-steaming them? Absolute genius, IMO.

    Looking forward to your MoFo offerings!

    P.S. Wow, dirtyduck, what a great idea for finely slicing seitan...ooh, you made my day.

  8. Wow, I have to join the majority and say that I've never heard (nor thought) of avocado fries either! But my first thought when I saw your post title was, "How do you fry avocados, they're so soft!" followed immediately by, "But so's mozzarella! I'll bet these are similar to mozzarella sticks!" And when I read that you said lovers of mozz sticks would probably love these, I wept. We're devoted FF vegans who never cook with oil, and normally don't miss it at all. But now look what you did! You have me salivating over and craving something I'd never heard of 5 minutes ago and can't have! You're wicked. :-)~

    So I wonder if I could bake these?

    I'm with you on onion rings. We used to have a neighbor from Memphis who would fry us Vidalia Onion Rings when she'd get a shipment of them in the spring. Oh, MAN!

    Those jalapeño burgers are right up ol' Texan BW's alley! He does love him some jalapeños (though he complains that the ones we get around here aren't nearly hot enough!)

    Can't wait to see your Jack O'Lanterns! I was just reading earlier that the tradition of Jack O'Lanterns began in Ireland, only they carved turnips instead, and started using pumpkins when so many came to the US during and after the Potato Famine because pumpkins were readily available here. Ask your hubby if that's true!

    Your porch looks so pretty, by the way!

    Happy Halloween!

  9. Zoa

    I was thinking of using Tami's method, because I pretty much made a version her burgers using the seitan crumble/mushroom mixture instead of the TVP, but I ended up with much more seitan crumble mixture proportionally to the wheat in the end, I just winged it.

    The avocado wedges were best, I thought, when I took a bite of red onion at the same time as the wedges...tasted really yummy with the fried batter.

    I agree, DD's gyro idea is fab!


    These totally made me think of mozzarella sticks, esp. cuz the flavor inside is quite mild, and it's more of a texture-based combo: crispy outside, soft, rich center, dipped in savory sauce...

    I know you're FF and that is be honest, Tami's recipe is great, but I think I prefer regular old fresh avocado over these...but I think it would work in the oven if you devised sort of a crispy breading to cover the outsides with...I've seen old school recipes that use ground up corn flakes/bran flakes or the like to make a crispy oven-baked breading...just a thought.

    I think we are on the same wavelength...first the mozzarella stick analogy, then the jack o'lanterns...I was thinking earlier that the name probably came from people trying to think up a name...and instead of calling them Jack O'Callaghan or something, they went for the ever-original o'lantern...because that's what they are.

    I asked John, and he said he never heard of it being Irish...they do like to carve pumpkins there, but the pumpkin carving is a moderately new tradition from what I gather. I think the turnip carving was before his time.

  10. i knew it! the seiten is being sadly ignored! heres another props for it!! equality for all foods!


    hey glad you like the seiten idea. that means a lot!

  11. lol, I'm one of the guilty parties who didn't mention the seitan because I was too overwhelmed by the avocado fries and jalapeño burgers, feeling too guilty about never having made my own seitan, and feeling too jealous already of people who have (and who own mandolins!) I hope to join your ranks this winter as a maker of seitan. (I do, afterall, wear one of those "seitan worshipper" buttons on my jacket!) ;-)

    So about this Jack O'Lanterns thing...

    I was curious about the Irish turnip origin of Jack O'Lanterns, and here's one of the web sites I found that tells the interesting history of both the name and the tradition. I'd never heard of the legend of Stingy Jack ("Jack of the Lantern") before, and sure didn't know about the Irish and turnip connections! (Beets and potatoes too, apparently!) On a few of the sites I found was this picture of a preserved turnip Jack O'Lantern from the early 20th century. Definitely before John's time! ;-)

    So when do we get to see your Jack O'Lantern handiwork? Can't wait!

    Happy Halloween!

  12. This entire post looks amazing and makes me hungry! I'm trying to cut most fat out of my diet now, but it's very tempting to make all of this. The burgers are something we might just have to try, being lovers of seitan, mushrooms and jalapenos. Yum!!

  13. Avocado fries! yum! i've never heard of such a thing but it makes sense that it would taste amazing. I am still learning how to deep fry..seems like i can never get the oil temp just right..when i get that down, i would love to try to make some of these!

  14. Laurie,

    Thanks for the links; that is so interesting. Who knew? My mother in law is turning 90 this year, I bet she's familiar with those legends. And the turnip is awesome. Now that I think about it, rutabagas (called swedes in Ireland) grow huge there, and it's really common to find rutabagas easily the size of small pumpkins...can't remember whether the same was true about turnips, but probably...(I like rutabagas better than turnips, so that's probably why I never focused on them:).

    I think it is true that a lot of the older Irish traditions actually persisted here via the immigrants, while they perhaps changed and morphed over the whole corned beef thing. It used to be a luxury item, so when immigrants came here, it was a tradition and considered a luxury holiday food, and through nostalgia (I'm guessing) and wanting to hold onto their roots, it stuck here. That's my theory anyway, nowadays, I think you'd be pressed to find people eating corned beef, except for on tourist menus...they prefer big juicy steaks or pork.

    I'll probably post the ponkie pics tomorrow...It's been a gorgeous day here, but it's clouding up into a spooky Halloween night, so will hopefully get some good pics then.

    I'm still perusing the links from your Grave post and am also looking forward to your holiday eats! We're having chili, pumpkins, and pasta.

    Happy Halloween.

  15. Molly,

    I think these would be worth trying if you ever liked the fried mozzarella sticks sort of thing...they are more of a texture combo treat than a huge flavor bomb. We don't eat a lot of deep fried food either, but I was so curious about trying these.

  16. Jacklyn,

    They are interesting, and if they sound good, think worth trying just for the novelty of it. :)

  17. I love rutabagas too, even when I was a little kid! Strange food for a kid to love, I suppose, but then I was a strange kid. :-) I always preferred rutabaga to squash back then (we really never ate turnips), but haven't had any in a long time. Need to cook one up and see if I still love it! I didn't know rutabagas were called "swedes" in Ireland (wonder why?), nor that they grow so huge there! I hope you'll get a chance to ask your mother-in-law if she knows the Stingy Jack/turnip tradition. (I'll bet she does too!)

    Your Halloween weather and your Halloween meal both sound perfect for the day! Looking forward to your first Vegan MoFo post as well as your "ponkie pics!" :-)

    Happy November!

  18. Yum and yum! Both those recipes sound delicious! And perfect together too.


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