Hatch Chile Chickpea Burgers

It's Hatch Chile season here in the great state of Houston City (wink!). So this recipe was more than fitting for this occasion. Hatch Chiles weren't always a part of my life (weep), honestly, I never had, nor heard, of a Hatch Chile pepper prior to my move in 2008. It was it's amazing aroma that caught my initial attention. All the major grocers in Houston fire up their grills, and for a limited time, offer fresh flame roasted chiles by the batch. I was hooked and the chile had won my tastebuds over. Whether mild or hot, they make a wonderful flavor statement to almost any dish. Similar in size and shape as an Anaheim pepper, Hatch Chiles are harvested in the New Mexico Valley region and transported all over the world for brief 2 month period (July through August). I describe it's unique flavor as a slightly spicy and peppery tomatillo. Just great. The recipe below is a simple level 1 on the vegan cooking scale. 


Hatch Chile Burger Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of prepared chickpeas (slightly warmed)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp + 3 tbsp of water)
  • 1/4 cup of veggie broth (or 2 tbsp of avocado oil) 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 of hatch chile pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 of small yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 cup + more of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Avocado oil (or other oil of choice) for light coating to fry  

Instructions

First, make your 'flax seed' and set it aside. Double this just in case your patties aren't sticking well together, you can always use a little or as much as you want. To get best flavor from the hatch chiles, you will want to sauté first before adding them to the chickpea 'mash'. To keep the oil content low, I like to use a 'water sauté' method than constantly bathing everything in oil. This works well and can have a very similar effect on the veggies. Simply add veggie broth to a pan and heat on medium-heat. Add the onions, chiles, and garlic and cook until brown; not burnt. If it gets too dry or starts to stick, simply just add a splash or two more of the veggie broth. Once done, remove and set aside. 

Now the fun! It always easy to make any bean-style burger or patties when the beans are warm or just under hot. They just work together easier. So if using canned beans heat them quickly in a pan, or forbid thrown them in the microwave for a 1 minute. Don't let them dry out, just warm them up a bit. You can also use some veggie broth for some added flavor during this process. 

Using a potato masher, mash down the chickpeas well. Making sure to get about 90% to 95% mashed. I like to have a few whole beans in the patties for added texture. If you are short on time, you can also, just throw about half into a food processor and pulse it a few times to break them up and crumble them down; not make hummus. Once beans are nice and mashed add your sauté veggies and mix them in well. Salt and pepper to your taste; even throw in a dash of paprika or cayenne, whatever you want. Lastly, fold in your flax egg. Making sure it's well incorporated. If the mixture doesn't seem like its 'holding' together well, just add a bit more flax egg, and perhaps a 'tad-bit' of veggie broth. I portioned out about 1/3 of cup and made nice round patty balls and placed in the frig for about 30minutes to 1 hour. Just long enough to sit and stay well intact. 

Now shape your patties and press them gently into a bed of breadcrumbs. Press on both sides and roll them along their sides, making sure they are well coated (see pic below). 

Heat a large frying pan over medium-heat with a good high heat oil like Avocado or Coconut Oil. Fry patties for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove and place of a sheet of paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve on whole wheat buns or as a main entree.