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Nut Burgers, Beer Bread

TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEAR SOS: The nut burgers at Follow Your Heart restaurants in Santa Barbara and Canoga Park are the best ever. Can you persuade the owners to part with their recipe?

--SHARON

DEAR SHARON: According to restaurant manager Brooke Ide, nut burgers have been one of the most popular items on their vegetarian menu since introduced over 15 years ago. These soft vegetarian burgers contain no binding, so handle with care. Because the mixture is cooked, only heating on a griddle is necessary.

Sometimes the chef scoops the nut burger mixture onto a bun, presses it down slightly to flatten, then bakes or broils it to heat through. Burgers can also be baked separately and carefully transferred to a bun.

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FOLLOW YOUR HEART NUT BURGER

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/3 cup raw walnuts

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1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped yellow squash

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2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

Dash dried basil

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Dash dried dill weed

1/2 cup chopped or shredded carrots

1/2 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)

6 to 8 slices Cheddar cheese

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6 to 8 sesame seed buns

6 to 8 tablespoons thousand island dressing

6 to 8 tomato slices

1 1/2 to 2 cups alfalfa sprouts

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Grind sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and cashews in blender, food processor or nut mill until coarsely ground. Set aside.

Combine onion, green pepper and squash. Mix soy sauce and water in small bowl. Process vegetables with garlic, basil and dill weed, adding soy mixture little at time in blender.

Pour puree into saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Add carrots and bulgur, bring to boil, stirring often. Simmer 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add nuts. Mix well. Form into patties or scoop into 2 1/2-ounce portions onto baking sheet and flatten slightly. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Bake or grill until heated through and browned on 1 side. Do not turn. Top each patty with slice of cheese and melt slightly.

Serve patties in sesame buns. Top each with 1 tablespoon thousand island dressing, tomato slice and 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts. Makes 8 servings.

Note: Scoop of nut burger mixture can be placed directly on 1 side of split bun with or without cheese slice and baked or broiled until heated through or toasted. Then dress as directed for sandwich.

DEAR SOS: Could you please locate a recipe for Drunken Watermelon?

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--AMANDA

DEAR AMANDA: This recipe came out of our “strange but true” file. Vodka and Triple Sec are infused through a plug in a watermelon for a “cocktail” in a melon dessert.

DRUNKEN WATERMELON

1 watermelon, chilled

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Vodka

Triple Sec or any orange-flavored liqueur

Cut 4-inch-deep triangular plug from very ripe watermelon. (Triangle should measure about 2 inches on each side.) Mix 3 parts vodka to 1 part Triple Sec and pour into hole in melon. (This will take some time because spirits filter slowly through watermelon pulp.)

When melon has absorbed as much liquid as possible, replace plug and chill melon in refrigerator or on ice in plastic-foam picnic-type container, overnight or at least 6 to 8 hours. When ready to serve, cut watermelon into wedges or slices.

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DEAR SOS: I’m interested in a recipe for beer bread. Can you help?

--JOHN

DEAR JOHN: Certainly. The recipe calls for self-rising flour (an enriched all-purpose flour to which baking powder and salt have been added), thus requiring no further leavening. For best results self-rising flour must be fresh. Beer gives the bread a rich malt flavor and, because of its carbonation and yeast content, helps to make a light loaf.

RADIO BEER BREAD

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3 cups self-rising flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 (12-ounce) can beer

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

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Mix flour and sugar with wooden spoon. Add beer, 1/3 at time. Turn batter into 3 (6x3-inch) loaf pans and drizzle butter over tops. Bake at 350 degrees 50 minutes. Makes 3 loaves.


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