I recently read an article written by a woman who had been married for five years and worked in the wedding-planning industry. She started with a brief summary of their courtship. Of course, it had the arc of any good love story. There was the lighting bolt “love at first sight“, the standard “we broke up once“, and the “happy ending” wedding. But that’s when she pointed out that, well, obviously that’s not the end. She listed off all the things she would never experience again: first kisses, the declaration of romantic interest (that doesn’t make it sound very exciting), and all the little humorous anecdotal stuff that comes from getting to know each other. She mourned over the loss of adrenaline rushes and, well, plain-old stupid-ass drama. Can you tell where I’m going here?
(This is where I deleted a whole section about all the first kisses I’ve been excited about in my past, but now make me shudder… back to our story.)
Last night, I made vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Hash for my husband–and although we had the Hiroshima of epically passionate first kisses, there’s another kinda of poetry that comes from our home, and the ongoing love affair that is our life together. One that doesn’t make me cry, or stay up till 3 AM watching cartoons and thinking of all the things I did wrong or choices I could have made differently.
Somewhere in this skillet dish that combines two soul mates–bacon cheeseburgers and french fries–I’m finding something pretty special. More special than the “meat cake” Cheeseburger Lasagna, and the mythical Cheeseburger Pie? Hmmmm… hard to say. Everything is special in its own way. I do know that this dish only takes about 20 minutes and makes enough for 2 large portions (or 4 probably-healthier portions). I also know that it was a big hit around the Shannon house last night, and will live on long after The Betty Crocker Project has gone down in history.
1 Cup Match Vegan Meat – Burger (This recipe is pretty simple and you can use whatever your favorite vegan fake burger is: broken-up Boca Burgers, Boca Bits, Gimme Lean Burger, Smart Grounds, Tempeh marinated in some Soy Sauce… whatever! The Match was pretty awesome though.)
1/2 Bag Frozen Home Fries
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Italian Seasoning (You could use the Mexican Seasoning if you prefer a bit more kick.)
1/2 Large Red Onion (diced)
2 Tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley (diced)
1 cup Daiya Vegan Cheese – Cheddar (shredded)
Bac-Os to Sprinkle over the top
Olive Oil and Liquid Smoke to fry it all up
In your precious little cast iron skillet, heat around 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and a dash of Liquid Smoke on a medium heat. Now, if you’re using the Match Burger or Gimme Lean, you may want to make a few mini-patties smaller than your palm; or if you’re using the Boca patties, you may want to break them up a bit. Either way, once the Oil is hot, add the Fake Burger. It’s OK to have a bunch of bits fall off your patties and to have some big clumps. You’re going to want to fry it up so it has a crispy outside and is perfectly browned. With your spatula, remove the Fake Burger from the skillet to a bowl. It’s OK to leave a few crumbs of Fake Burger in the skillet.
To the heated skillet, add another Tablespoon of Olive Oil and another dash of Liquid Smoke. Then, toss in the diced Onions and Home Fries. Brown those for around 5 minutes. Once they start to get little crispy edges, toss the Fake Burger back in. Then, add Braggs, Tomatoes, Parsley and Creole Seasoning. You’re going to want to let it cook for around 5-7 minutes and flip it occasionally.
Turn the heat down to a simmer, and toss the Daiya Cheddar on top. Try to keep it on the Fake Burger & Potato Mix and off the skillet. Don’t mix it in; just let it melt on top. It should take about 3 minutes to melt. Then, sprinkle Bac-Os over the top and serve with some pickles. You won’t need the catsup; it’s already in there!