Wednesday is Recipe Day at CookingManager.Com.
I read an article by a woman trying to get a recipe for the patties her European-born grandmother would make. The grandmother started by removing a covered plate of cooked zucchini from the refrigerator. The granddaughter tried to get down exact quantities with no success. The granddaughter just knew that the dish was delicious. She didn’t know that there was no set recipe and they were different each time.
Here is my guide to making patties. You can use fresh ingredients or pre-cooked. The basics are eggs, a filler like flour, breadcrumbs or oats, and flavorful meat, fish, vegetables, milk or cheese. The patties need to hold together.
Your food processor or blender, even a hand blender, is useful here, especially if you are trying to hide leftovers. My kids don’t notice things they usually refuse, like beans. Of course you can always chop by hand and stir.
All ingredients are optional except for the eggs and flour, along with either fish, meat or vegetables.
- Start with a dry food processor.
- (Add fresh parsley, dill or coriander and chop until fine.)
- (Peel and cut an onion in half. Chop until fine. You can add celery, pepper, carrot, or other crisp vegetables at this point.)
- (Add fresh or cooked zucchini, mushrooms, cooked beans, rice, hard cheese or other soft foods.)
- (Add raw or cooked meat or fish, including tuna.)
- Add eggs. A pound of meat requires one egg. Patties with tuna or a high percentage of vegetables will need more, even up to one egg per can of tuna.
- Add flour, oats, breadcrumbs, cracked wheat, or cornmeal. Start with two or three tablespoons. If it’s too liquidy, add more.
- (Add seasonings. Possibilities including salt (take into account salt already included), soy or Tamari sauce, pepper, paprika, mustard, catsup, tomato paste, dried herbs, or pan drippings. Don’t overdo it. If you used the herbs you will need little seasoning.)
- (Add additional liquid if the mixture seems too dry to hold together. Milk or cooking liquid can work.)
- Process until well-mixed. Use the off-on or pulse setting unless you want it very mushy.
- Form into patties and fry or bake. Use a non-stick or cast-iron pan to use less oil, or bake. If you fry make sure to start with a very hot pan; test to see if a drop of batter sizzles. You can make them in the microwave, but the onions will take a long time to soften unless you chopped them very fine.
- Variation: Press the mixture into a casserole dish and bake until brown on the top. You can top with a layer of tomato paste like a meatloaf. Or you could add a layer of cheese.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, and let us know how it turns out. Please post comments and questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: