Month: September 2012

Chickpea Burgers and Cellular Motility

The life of a recipe rebel is not predictable. I’ve made dozens of dinner disasters and a multitude of mediocre meals, but every now and then, I stumble upon gastronomic genius. It’s not easy to find meals that are tasty, healthy, and economical, but I think we’ve struck gold here, friends. The composition of rich, nutty cheddar-wheat brioche rolls, spicy chickpea and red-pepper burgers, tart and creamy lime-cilantro sour cream, and buttery avocado is really somethin’ special.

It’s important to use light, fluffy rolls for these sandwiches because the chickpea burgers are rather delicate. These cheddar-wheat brioche rolls aren’t heavy or overly cheesy, but they are rich and savory.

 Cheddar Wheat Brioche Rolls (inspired by this recipe)

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (the sharper, the better!)
  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine water, milk, yeast and honey. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Stir in shredded cheese.
  3. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. It will be just a little sticky – this aids in a lighter roll in the end! If it’s too difficult to knead, though, add a little extra flour.
  4. Shape dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch dough down and form into roll-sized balls. This is totally up to you. Do what makes you happy. Big rolls, little rolls, medium-sized rolls. Flatten the balls slightly and cover with plastic wrap to rise another hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter when they’re done.

Now for the burgers!

 Red-Pepper Chickpea Burgers

  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbonzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • flour
  1. Saute vegetables and garlic until tender. Add beans and spices and let them cook together for about 15 minutes. You may have to add some water to your pan to keep it from sticking/burning. Allowing everything to cook together will help all the flavors mingle and will also help get rid of some of the “canned” taste of the beans.
  2. Transfer the bean mixture to a mixing bowl and mash everything together with a fork. Don’t worry about making it totally smooth – little chunks of carrot and pepper make it look pretty and taste delicious!
  3. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, form into patties and dredge in flour. I pan-fried my burgers, but you could probably bake them, as well. Whatever you choose to do, just know that these will never get very firm, so treat them gently. This recipe made three large patties for me, so keep that in mind if you’re making these for a family!

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

  • 1/4 cup finely diced cilantro
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • juice of one small lime
  1. Stir everything together.
  2. That’s basically it.

Assemble your burgers! 

  1. Split your rolls and toast them, if you so desire.
  2. Liberally spread on the sour cream.
  3. Place a burger on one side and layer on sliced avocado.
  4. Put everything together and enjoy!

Peach Muffins and Pleiotropy

This week has flown by! It’s like I blinked and the week was gone; it was one big blur of lectures and labs. This week we’ve been studying genetic disorders like Down syndrome and Turner syndrome (and many other abnormalities that are far more devastating). I have enjoyed the lectures because I’ve always been very interested in genetics, but at the same time, it’s been hard to see picture after picture of severely malformed children. The worst part for me is that there’s nothing we can do for them. It just breaks my heart.

Early every Saturday morning I go to a women’s Bible study at my church and this morning I got to lead it! The time of fellowship is so special and it’s such an encouragement to me in the midst of this crazy med student life. 🙂 This morning I brought peach muffins to share! My cabinets are bare (I get to go grocery shopping today!) but I had a can of peaches and some flour and sugar, so I decided to see what I could come up with. These muffins were inspired by this recipe, but heavily tweaked by yours truly.

Peach Muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 15 oz. can of sliced peaches, drained and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add all wet ingredients, except for peaches, and stir just til combined. Fold in chopped peaches. Fill muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. This recipe made about 15 muffins for me. You could also bake this as a loaf; just increase baking time to about 1 hour.


Enchiladas and Exams

I’m alive! I survived my first lab practical and my first block exam and am still smiling. After having spent the past few days studying for stretches of 12+ hours, I was ridiculously excited to do simple, normal-life stuff like sweep and Swiffer our apartment.

Once the sweeping and swiffering were finished, I decided to cook something delicious for supper tonight and treat myself. Creamy chicken enchiladas are totally comfort food and I thought the only thing that could make them even better was if I made them with fresh tortillas!

As if by providence, one of my childhood friends (who lives in New Zealand and has one of the most absolutely precious families ever) posted a recipe for tortillas to her blog just a few days ago. I followed her recipe exactly (whaaaaat?) so try it for yourself! (I split the difference and used 5 Tbs. of shortening, just for full disclosure).

Fresh tortillas, stuffed with creamy, cheesy, chicken, chile-y goodness.

And then we pour more cheesy, creamy goodness over the top and bake it until it’s all hot and happy.

I was right about the fresh tortillas. It happens occasionally, you know.

 Seriously, so good. Just what the med-student ordered. 🙂

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

  • Six flour tortillas
  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/8-1/4 cup milk
  • Cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions and garlic together until your kitchen smells wonderful and you’re trying to convince yourself not to just eat onions and garlic for dinner. Cut your chicken into bite-sized chunks and cook with the onion and garlic. Once the chicken is cooked through, stir in green chiles, soup, sour cream, and milk. Reserve about a cup of this mixture to pour over the top of your enchiladas, once they’re assembled. Ladle filling into tortillas until you can roll them up and not have filling spilling out everywhere. This is obviously a very technical and precise procedure. I understand that you may be timid in attempting such a feat. I, however, am confident in your abilities. Believe in yourself! BE the filling! Then sprinkle cheddar cheese onto the filling, roll up tortilla, and place enchilada in a baking pan. Fill your baking pan with enchiladas, pour reserved sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for about 20 minutes. I used my broiler for the last couple of minutes to brown the cheese on top, but, if you choose to do so, be careful not to let it burn! Broilers can be temperamental.