“Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein-based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.” That was the challenge.
This post introduces the Creative Cooking Crew, a group of 24 fearless food bloggers who will put their kitchen chops to the test with a new culinary challenge every month. Members will post their creations on their individual blogs anytime during the month and this month, on January 30, I will present a round-up of all of them here on FOODalogue. Alternate months it will be hosted by Lazaro Cooks.
January Challenge: Vegan
I’ve spent my whole adult life, most especially since I became a food blogger, living (more expressly: eating) a life of moderation, systematically cleaning up my act. I didn’t have much left in my repertoire that fell in the category of ‘rich, heavy, fatty and animal-based’.
And then I thought of “La Frita”, a Cuban burger, very popular in the Latin communities in South Florida.
Unlike Mickey D’s all beef patty, this one is beef and chorizo and topped with shoestring potatoes!
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To veganize the burger and yet keep to the Cuban palate, I substituted rice and beans (black) for the meat. Each component was cooked separately and aggressively seasoned — including about a teaspoon of chorizo seasoning in the rice. I used avocado as a binder to hold the rice and beans together and to add a little fat. Once I formed the burger, I put it in the freezer to set for about 15 minutes before frying.
While the condiment of choice for a Cuban burger is regular tomato ketchup, I decided to add a little bit more Cubanismo into it with a mango ketchup (mango, tomato, red pepper, onion, cider vinegar, dry seasonings, cilantro and red chili flakes.)When served, Fritas are always topped with raw onions, pickles and shoestring fries.
This was so delicious!
(Though, truth be told, it didn’t hold together well once I picked it up and took a bite. A fork and knife were required.)
Please come back on January 30 when I will host the round-up of all the group’s creative dishes. Round-ups are a feast for the eyes and often a head scratcher … how did he/she think of that? 🙂