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Makes 4 burgers.
When putting this recipe together, it's important that the chile relleno is served shortly after frying to make sure the cheese's ooey-gooey factor does not diminish. So make sure you have all of your toppings ready, and your buns toasted. The last two things you should do are cook the burgers and fry the rellenos. I would also recommend the meatiest burger patty you can find. I used Gardein's Beefless Burger patties for this one. But the first time I used Amy's Quarter Pound burger, and while that IS a tasty burger, it has it has a blend of spices that didn't jive with the rest of this burger. The burger flavor should be neutral and the texture should be on the firmer, meatier side.
4 burger patties
2 Chile Rellenos, (see recipe below)
4 1-inch thick slices tomato
4 leaves leafy lettuce (leaf, romaine, etc)
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below)
Caramelized Onion and Chipotle Spread (see recipe below)
4 hamburger buns, toasted
Heat a well oiled skillet or griddle to medium high, and add the tomato slices. Make sure they sizzle when they hit the pan. Let them grill for 3 to 4 minutes until there is a little browning on one side. Remove and set aside.
Next, cook your burger patties according to instructions, and keep warm. Fry your rellenos and cut them in half as described below.
To assemble the burger. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom bun. Place the burger patty on top of the lettuce. Spread some of the caramelized onion and chipotle sauce on the burger, and place the chile relleno on top. On the show, Greg served this open faced, with the top bun off to the side. So on the top half of the bun, spread the tomatillo salsa, then add the tomato (with the grilled side facing up), and red onion. Serve.
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (I'm using Follow Your Heart's Fiesta Shreds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dredging
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup club soda
canola or vegetable oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
Place the peppers directly on the flame of your stove or under the broiler. Turning until blackened on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Place the peppers in a paper bag and close it up. Let the peppers steam at least 10 to 15 minutes inside the bag. This will allow them to continue to cook, and also make the skin really easy to peel off.
Peel the peppers as best you can. It's ok (and preferable) to have black flecks of the charred skin remaining on the pepper. DO NOT RINSE UNDER WATER - this will wash away flavor.
Insert a pairing knife into the top of the pepper (near the stem) in the bend where pepper sort of begins to curve back down towards the base of the stem. Carefully cut around the stem. Once you've cut a full circle, the stem and most of the seeds should come out. If it's still attached by membranes inside, gently separate with your fingers. The goal is to not tear a hole in the flesh of the pepper, so be careful. Then scrape out as many straggler seeds from the inside of the pepper as you can.
If you do suffer a small tear or accidental cut in the body of the pepper, it is not the end of the world. In most cases the batter will keep it sealed, and prevent cheese from leaking out as it melts.
Now hold the peppers like an ice cream cone and stuff them with about 1/4 cup of cheese each. If the pepper is on the bigger side, you can add a little more. Depending on what the cut of the opening looks like, either fold it over to close the opening or pinch it together. Secure with a toothpick or two. Again, this does not need to be air tight, the batter will fill in any spaces that are not fully pinched together.
1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges or 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a well oiled grill or grill pan to medium high. If some of the tomatillos are larger, you can cut them in half or quarters. Place the tomatillos on the grill, turning occasionally, and grill until blackened and mostly tender. Also place the onions on the grill and cook them for the same amount of time, just to get some charring on them. They don't need to be fully cooked. Just cook them for the same amount of time you cooked the tomatillos. You can also cook the tomatillos in a sheet pan under a high broiler for about 10 minutes, turning once half way through, until somewhat blackened and tender.
Remove everything from the grill. Once cooled, add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
caramelized onion and chipotle spread
1 tablespoons vegan margarine, extra-virgin olive oil, or a mix
1 tablespoon white or red wine, vegetable stock, balsamic vinegar, or water
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
maple syrup (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Once the onions are caramelized, and have cooled down, add them to a food processor with the chipotle and 2 tablespoons of water. Process until you have a puree. If you need more liquid to blend, add a teaspoon at a time. Depending on the sweetness of the onions and the heat of the chipotle, you may want to add a little maple syrup to balance things out. Add maple syrup 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.