The Supporting Act

There’s an incredible array of vegan patties out there. Beetroot, sweet potato, black bean- take your pick! I can’t, however, help but think that if you stick it between two slices of sad, white bread and serve it with frozen wedges or, God forbid, microchips, you’re not giving it the stage it deserves! I’m not, for one minute, accusing any of you of DELIBERATE burger sacrilege but how often do you really think past the star of the show? Forgive my dry, English sense of humour.For me, a burger needs mayonnaise and it needs fries. They don’t have to be healthy or wholesome. Just make them crispy and give me something to dunk them in. 

  
The Dip.

Veganaise has never been easier to buy from the supermarket. We truly live in a wonderful era! BUT, have you ever thought of making your own? It may be easier than you think.

I’m not a huge advocate of soy and try not to overuse tofu. Recently I’ve been experimenting with aquafaba, so the recipe I tried is glorified chickpea water, and oh my goodness, it’s amazing! A little mustard goes a long way and the lightness of aquafaba makes this Mayo more like a whipped hollandaise. For me, that’s perfect and different from store bought, so it really is worth the effort.

  
I’m honestly quite terrible at proofing recipes. I worked in a professional kitchen for a number of years and have always been somewhat “a pinch of this and a glug of that”. That’s why I’ve linked the original recipe here. I simply beat the aquafaba to soft peaks and slowly dribbled the oil into my blender until the mixture looked glossy (rice bran is my current oil of choice, use it with refined coconut oil on a 3:1 ratio). I then added a little salt, a splash of cider vinegar and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and poured into a jar. I think this recipe could also be used to make a super delicious aioli by roasting and liquidising garlic in place of the mustard. 

  
The Bun.

These semi-flat buns are a variation of a recipe I found on Pinterest. 

http://www.lazycatkitchen.com/The Supporting Act-knead-turkish-bread/

It’s a no-knead recipe so virtually pain free and rises enough for a beautiful bun, not unlike a rustic focaccia. Don’t start this if you’re hungry already though. It requires two stints of proving.  

  
A little tip I learned from an Italian baker is to mix your sugar and tepid water with the yeast itself before mixing with the dry ingredients. This gives it a real chance to start work before it meets the salt. 

I used the same ingredients as the recipe (but mine is sugar free as I swapped out the sugar for maple syrup) and I used a truffle/olive oil blend to add a good depth of flavour. I used both sesame seeds and fresh rosemary to add texture and fragrance. 

      

The Crunch.

Give me chips and anything to dip! I wanted to try something a bit different so these are caper and polenta wedges, baked until crispy.

I followed the directions for the polenta it’s roughly a 1:4 split with water – I used Marigold vegan bouillon but a homemade stock would be even better! When you’ve made a thick paste, add seasoning. I used garlic and onion powder, dried mint and rosemary, plus salt and lots of pepper.

Finally I stirred in some drained, roughly chopped capers. Then left it to set for a few hours. This is a great one to make ahead of time and keep in the fridge in a mould or tub until you’re ready to use it. 

I sliced the block into 1cm thick sticks and rolled them in some seasoned, dried polenta. This helps the fries get really crispy in the oven. 

Preheat a little rice bran oil in a dish at 200•c and when the oven’s hot, throw in the chips.

These really are a labour of love and need a good hour for a perfect crunch, but it’s worth the wait!

  

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