These are my Mushroom Pecan Burgers from TEV, and the photo is courtesy of Nancy. (Thanks Nancy!)
You see, Nancy e-mailed me the other day to tell me that she made this recipe and they really enjoyed it, though hers "didn't come out as perfectly shaped as the photo in the book".
Well, I had to e-mail her back to say "great, yours are EXACTLY how they should look!!"
You see, food styling can be very deceptive! When these photos were done for TEV, I was surprised by how much may be removed/added to a recipe just for the looks, or artificial things used in place of real food.
With these burgers, the food stylist really wanted to make them look like a "real burger" (because we all miss those, don't we?!!!). I usually serve them without a bun and instead top them with Mi-So Good Gravy from TEV. But, 'burger on a bun' was the plan. I was preparing the burgers and remember saying "we're missing hoisin and some other ingredients". The food stylist explained we didn't need it, but that we needed to make the patties very stiff so add more breadcrumbs and whatever to firm them.
After the shoot they decided to eat the burgers and the stylist said "they are a little bland, need some onion or something". Now, being too polite for my own good I didn't say much, when what I should have said was "well, you are eating a 'breadburger', afterall!"
Funny, I learned a lot about food styling that day, though the next food stylist I worked with for a TV spot didn't change my recipe ingredients at all, which was so cool, because everything on that tv appearance looked just like it came from my own kitchen.
So, if you ever make a recipe inspired by a photo in a cookbook and it doesn't come out quite like the pretty picture... now you know why!
Cooking Tips: When you make veggie burgers/patties, there are a few tricks to help them stick and hold. First, if you if they are too moist, add some breadcrumbs or something like quick oats. If they are not moist, but a little crumbly and not holding, a nut or seed butter does the trick - try a tbsp or two of tahini, almond, or peanut butter - also, a little miso helps. Next, it does help to refrigerate them before shaping. And finally, your hands usually get sticky after shaping 4 or 5 patties, so rinse your hands, pat dry and keep going!