Slap dash burgers with saucy saffron veggies

The cupboards and fridge are looking a little bare this week. I haven’t done a proper grocery shop in nearly a month and supplies are running very low. We’ve been grabbing things as we need them and on Tuesday I found myself penniless with not much on offer for dinner. It still amazes me how at times like this I manage to concoct some of the most amazing meals. I scoured the freezer, pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I could scrape together and all I could find was some mince, celery, shallots, choko, bamboo shoots, carrots, frozen peas, spring onions, a bunch of asparagus and an egg. Hmmmmm, on went my thinking cap and burgers with stir fried veggies is what I came up with.

I have made burgers many times so this was the easy part, until I went to the pantry for some rice crumbs. Oh dear, I had run out! What to do? What to do?!! I needed something to absorb the fat and since we are a gluten free household, it wasn’t as simple as some might think. Ah, rice cakes!! I ground 3 thin rice cakes in the food processor, perfect! My other half said they were the best he’s had, now that’s a big call coming from such a meat connoisseur. So here’s my winning recipe.

Slap dash burgers

1/2 kg of regular (no, not Heart Smart or extra lean, the full fat version) beef mince

2 shallots very finely diced

1 clove crushed garlic

2 tsps salt

1 egg

3 ground thin rice cakes

Place al ingredients in a bowl and mix well using your hands. If, like me, you hate getting your hands in the mince, get the kids to do it! Roll into balls then flatten slightly and cook as you would any other meat patty.

So now to the veggies. *Yawn* they looked so boring sitting on the bench and were in desperate need of jazzing up. Ah-ha! I’ll marinate them first with some saffron, citric acid, garlic and oil. Oh, my, goodness….they were amazing. Even my carnivorous, veggie hating “not-husband” couldn’t get enough of them and told me the recipe MUST go on the blog. So here it is….

Saucy saffron veggies

3 shallots, sliced

3 medium carrots cut into sticks

1 choko peeled and cut into sticks the same size as the carrots

2 stalks of celery, sliced

1 bunch of asparagus

1 cup of frozen peas

4 or so spring onions cut into inch lengths

1 tin of bamboo shoots

3  heaped teaspoons of cornflour

1/2 tsp citric acid

1 tsp salt

2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

2 tbsps of oil

good pinch of saffron

1 tbsp of maple syrup

Drain the bamboo shoots and reserve the liquid. Place the celery, carrot, shallots, choko, citric acid, salt, saffron, garlic, maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of the oil into a bowl and mix well. Set aside for half an hour or so. Heat the remaining oil in a wok over high heat until very hot then throw in the marinating veggies. Stir fry for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are just tender. You may need to spoon off a little of the liquid but don’t discard it, add it to the bamboo shoot liquid. Add the remaining veggies and toss a further minute or 2 until cooked. Stir the cornflour into the liquid then add to the wok, stirring until saucy. Add more salt to taste.

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