Thursday 5 December 2013

Tamale Burgers with Mole Sauce and the Pentridge Market

Recently I have been using my bag of masa lista flour.  I was enthused about it by making this tamale burgers from The Best Veggie Burgers in the World.  I borrowed the book from the library and really enjoyed browsing.  Some recipes I wanted immediately and other were a bit too much TVP for me.  The tamale burgers were fantastic, especially with cutting some corners.

The recipe had instructions for making your own mole sauce.  I happened to read the recipe soon after purchasing some mole sauce from the Pentridge Craft and Produce Market.  I liked the mole so much that I purchased a jar, despite it having some peanuts in it.  (Due to Sylvia's peanut allergy, we don't eat a lot of products with peanut butter in them.  Not that she would touch this sauce with a barge pole!)

I had planned to return to the market and write more about it another time.  We didn't stay long.  Perhaps it was the lack of buzz at the market.  It was quiet and so windy that the stalls seemed to threaten to blow away.  There weren't even enough stalls to have some in the cells (as I had heard there had been in previous markets).

I had hoped it was a bad weekend.  Alas, it seems the market has closed.  Their website is down and on another site it says it has closed.  I really liked the concept of a market in the grand old jail building.  They did well in letterboxing about it but there was no signage and I found it hard to find.  I suspect part of their problem was that there is strong competition from the nearby Coburg Farmers Market.  I'm sorry I didn't see it in busier times and sorry it has closed.

I am glad I bought the jar of mole sauce as a little token from the market.  It was delicious and convenient.  Having the sauce, made it really easy to make these tamale burgers.  Of course you could make your own mole sauce using your favourite recipe or by looking up the one in the book.  I have even wondered about using other sauces to give different flavours to the burgers.  Would pasta sauce work?  Would Sylvia eat them if they were less spicy?

I loved how easy the dough was to mould into patties.  Mine were crispy, spicy, sturdy and substantial.  And they had that lovely corny taste of corn tacos.  On the first night I made sourdough flatbreads but made them quite small to use instead of burgers buns.  The idea was inspired by a recipe in the cookbook.  This must the easiest way to make "burger buns".  (If you have sourdough starter in your fridge.)  The "burger" had a tamale burger, relish, tomato, tofu bacon and avocado.  (Top picture)  So delicious.

I loved these burgers so much that when I took a couple for me when Sylvia and I went to the park with a little practice lunch for her before taking a few lunches to kindergarten as part of her transition to school program.  The burgers are excellent cold too.

We still had more burgers leftover for dinner.  Delicious with tomato sauce, bread, salad and cheese.  Now I am off to back up my blog.  Just published this post in draft by mistake and then thought I had deleted it and didn't have it backed up.  I've learnt my lesson!

I am sending these burgers to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, a blog event at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.  I am also sending them to Simona at Bricole for My Legume Love Affair (#66), the monthly event celebrating beans and lentils and legumes, overseen by Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen and founded by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago:
NCR Snow Snow Snow and Edinburgh Botanics
Two years ago: Microwave porridge, rants and raves
Three years ago: Tacos with hominy chilli
Four years ago: Christening Cake
Five years ago: Corn pancakes and salsa
Six years ago: Fennel vs the Triffids

Tamale Burgers with Mole Sauce
Lightly adapted from The Best Veggie Burgers in the World by Joni Marie Newman
Serves 4-6

1 cup mole sauce
3 cups masa harina (I used masa lista)
1/2 cup water
400g tin of borlotti beans (or black beans or pinto beans), rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
few pinches of salt
oil, for frying

Mix all ingredients together to make a dough - it will look quite dry but should come together with some light kneading.  Shape into patties.  (The mixture is quite easy to handle and holds together brilliantly.)  Fry in about 2-3 tbsp of oil on a heavy based non stick frypan until dark brown (mine were a little charred but I love them that way).  Eat hot or cold.

On the Stereo: 
Ruby: Killjoys


  1. ohhh I never got to make it to the Pentridge market! Bummer. Thanks for this recipe, I have this book and always drool over the pictures. My sister is borrowing it so I have to get it back and make these burgers.

    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I was glad I got to the Pentridge market once (though I did get quite lost finding it). I was really sad to send the book back to the library - there were so many other recipes I wanted to try

  2. What a great idea for the burgers. Easier than real tamales because you don't have to steam them. We had a wicked awesome mole sauce while in Mexico City and I am definitely going to look into making some mole sauce now :)

    1. Thanks Janet - it is one of the best ways I have found of using my masa harina other than tortillas and arepas. I have made chilli with mole but I don't think I have made just a mole sauce without veg and beans. Will look forward to your mole sauce.

  3. My fiance generally doesn't like "fake" meat, but he LOVES tamales, so I might try cooking up a batch of these for him. I love that they contain so few ingredients... they look super easy to make.

    1. Thanks Dayna - these don't taste at all like fake meat - they are heavier than tamales but have quite a lot of that flavour.

  4. I love mole and all those flavours so will definitely have to try something along these lines. Maybe in cornbread buns?!

    1. Thanks Emma - I love the idea of cornbread buns - or maybe corn tortilla wraps would work well if you wanted a gf serving option with some mexican rice and lettuce, tomato and avocado as well in the filling.

  5. These sound delicious and I am yet to try mole sauce - but want to desperately when I can just get around to it! I'm sure I'd love it with these as a base. I too am sad to hear about that market closing as it sounds like a great concept, but am pleased you could get this jar while you could.

    1. Thanks Kari - I was even more pleased I bought the jar after I saw the market closed. I must try a mole sauce recipe - have made mole flavoured chillis and don't know if they could be adapted into a sauce. But I do know the one I bought had lots of the sorts of chillis I never have around which probably added to its great taste.

  6. Wow what a hit! Sounds like you absolutely loved these! I really want to make my own mole sauce one day :D But what great timing with you buying a jar!

    1. Thanks Lorraine - it is great when you have the right ingredient on hand as you read a recipe - and the jar made the burgers so easy but making your own mole sauce sounds would be great

  7. I love mole sauce - I've just never managed to find it readymade. I guess I need to look harder, because I know I'd love those burgers with some!

  8. What, Pentridge Market has shut down already? How sad! I had hoped they would go in the craft / tourist market direction, since the Farmers' Market aspect was never very large, even in their earliest markets, and as you say, Coburg Market presents quite a bit of competition, but it was a fun market while it lasted.

  9. You really make me want to try making these burgers. I have never made mole sauce, but it is on my to-do list, so maybe it's time I checked it off. Thank you so much for contributing to MLLA. And Happy New Year!


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