Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb 22 - Big Mountain Vegan Burgers and Jerked Sweet Potato Fries

I went to the Live City Yaletown last night after work to catch Zapato Negro. I dashed out a tad early only to see them on the big screens as I approached the outer gates. I don't know why but the whole line up was moved up an hour! Oh well, I got to see most of their show and line up for the Samsung house.

The Samsung house was an absolute bore. You line up for nearly an hour from then end of the ropes only to find yourself in line at the games to collect stickers on the inside. Seriously, what a waste of time. There was supposed to be a quiz at 5 and I waited but nothing. If you're keeping track on my

House Reviews:

(on 7 maples)
Samsung house: 1 maple
Ontario house: 3 maples because of the insane line with poor info from hosts
Quebec house: 1 maple
Concord house: 0 maples
Northern house: 6 maples
Aboriginal house (VCC site): 3 maples, mainly shopping
BC House (VAG): 6 maples
BC Power Smart: 3 maples, fun for kids
West House: 3 maples, interesting concept
BC Stadium: 5 maples for set up 1 maple for food cost

So after freezing my arse (not a curse word in Canada, actually an euphemism for us for the real one), off watching Zapato then the Bentalls Barney and his son. Actually it was the son's band, Dustin and his dad was featuring. I think most of the crowd was there for Barney. It was a tad too country for me but the kid did have one good song that I'll look for. 3000 miles....chorus: I like to get high and I talk when I'm stoned... with his dad singing along. Ah BC.

So D was supposed to meet me to watch Colin James at 9 but I didn't think I could make it. We went to Choices market instead and picked up some food for a few options and then made a call on the bridge. We thought about Barley Risotto, Vegan Bolognese and Veggie Burgers with the Sweet Potato I bought earlier.

We chose to do the Veggie burgers since D remembered we had Portuguese buns in the freezer and he doesn't like a crowded freezer. I've tried many many brands of veggie burgers and there are 4 basic styles:

- Cutlet/Pattie where it is not meat like at all. It's a mash of veg in veg form, like carrots, peas with breading. Not a burger at all.
- Lentil or Legume pattie, denser than just a veggie cutlet but not the form of the soy protein.
- Soy/Veg protein meat like pattie that simulates the texture of meat. My preferred variety. Best Brand is Yves. Vera's Burgers has a fantastic version of this. It could also be Yves. They will do all their burgers with a veggie pattie if you ask at no extra charge.
- Soy/Veg protein full meat fakeout.... fakes the texture of the fat and the gristle with some vegan gelatin. This version is gross to me. If I wanted that texture and aroma, I'd eat meat. I am what many might call an aesthetic vegetarian. The best kind, in my mind. I am not a moralist or evangelist about it. I don't like the taste or appearance of it. I will try things and have to spit them out. The aroma of the fat, which as you know gives meat it's flavour, is what I find most difficult to eat. Anyhoo, my choice, not yours. Therefore, if you're like me, you won't like this variety. Boca makes these kinds as well, I can't recall the brand but it's green and you can see the patties in the slide out pack with the grill marks on them.

We bought Mountain Burgers because it was the ONLY type that Choices had in stock though they had loads of Yves stuff. I tried to persuade D to get Tofurkey Kielbasa but he would have none of it. The Mountain Burgers were a lentil based pattie or type #2. It was very very dense and dry. D cooked them in a cast iron pan and they crumbled a bit. He admitted he didn't realise the type it was. He was smart to add some BBQ sauce to the top after the first flip otherwise it would have been terribly dry. It had good flavour but it gets drowned out by the condiments and cheddar. The texture was rather pasty as well. I wouldn't say it was horrible but I wouldn't recommend them.

We garnished our burgers with aged cheddar, fresh tomatoes, pickles and dijon mustard.

Jerked Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato
1/2 - 1 T jerk seasoning
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
1 T olive oil

Heat the oven to 425F.

Cut the sweet potato in half around the middle. Cut the halves lengthwise so there is a flat surface. Cut those quarters in to 3/4 cm slices. Cut the slices into 3/4 cm to 1/2 cm slices.

Place all the fries in a large mixing bowl that is light enough to toss or have tongs and use whatever bowl you like. Pour half the oil on top and toss the bowl until they all look coated. Add half the jerk and toss again for a minute. Add the rest of the oil and toss for a good minute. Add the rest of the jerk, use more if you want. Toss for another good minute.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or use a silpat. Even with a non stick pan, it will still stick because of all the sugar, it will still stick.

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