Hot Tamale Burger

This is another entry for the Blog Bites #5 Event, started by Nupur. I have some blogs that I used to frequent before I started blogging. And, these blogs are some websites that I know the url by heart. One such favorite blog was Tasty Palettes. Suganya has a unique collection of healthy recipes, and also beautiful photographs. I had remembered seeing a lot of healthy burgers in her blog at some point, and when I read about BB5 at Nupur’s blog, I turned to Suganya for inspiration. I actually had difficulty in picking out a sandwich recipe to try out from her blog, because of the versatile and tempting spread that she has. In the end, it was season that won…yep, this ‘Hot Tamale Burger’ is made with fresh corn and being summer I had an abundance of it in my crisper.

Just as she has mentioned in her post, the burgers were so flavorful and yet healthy..thanks to the brown rice and fresh veggies added. ‘Tamale’ is the traditional Latin American dish that is made by steaming starchy corn flour(masa) in corn husks and filled with meats and cheese. The name ‘Hot Tamale’ of this burger is given because of the transformation of this dish into an American burger. I added some extra stuff to the original recipe and I am giving my modifications below.

1/2 cup Brown rice
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 ear fresh corn, husked
1 chipotle chilli pepper
2 tsp adobo sauce
1/2 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1 tbsp
Garlic jam (subst: 2 fresh cloves garlic minced)
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

In a pot or in a pressure cooker, cook brown rice with 3 cups water until tender. Spread on a plate and let cool. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté onion, bell peppers and jalapeno until soft. Add the fresh corn, chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic jam, cumin and salt. Cover and cook until the corn is cooked through. Add the rice and mix thoroughly.

In a bowl, whisk cornmeal and 1/3 cup water without any lumps. Add this to the vegetables in the skillet and mix well. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes, until the whole mixture comes together. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Let cool until warm enough to handle. Score the mixture to form 4 even burger patties.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a griddle, and cook the burger patties until they are brown and crusty.

If you have access to the grill, grill the patties for 7 minutes per side. Toast the burger buns on the pan or on the grill until warm. Serve on a bed of lettuce and top it with a fresh slice of tomato.

Verdict: The burgers were very filling and also very healthy. I loved how the burger patties formed a crunchy exterior when cooked in the pan. I have a complaint about the store bought vegetarian burgers that they are not spicy enough for me, I consider them bland. But, the addition of the chipotle pepper in combination with the fresh jalapeno made this a spicy and flavorful burger. Even my husband loved it. We enjoyed it for a nice sunny lunch with some oven baked garlic fries.

I am also sending this to the ‘Veggie/Fruit of the Month’ event started by Priya and featuring Corn this month.

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