THE YANKEE CHEF: These patties are loaded with flavor

Mix up some Corn Belts for a meatless meal.

Sure, “Que” season is here and most likely everyone is thinking beef burgers, steaks, ribs and anything else a man (yes, I will put the odd-ball ideas squarely on our own shoulders) can dream up. The last thing on everyone’s mind is going without meat. But for those of you who are still being conscious, yet do not want to force down veggie burgers, this is the best alternative by far. Simply loaded with flavor, filling and if desired, top with some heated barbecue sauce over the top. (Might I suggest Jack’s Barbecue Sauce? Stay tuned.)

Corn BeltsINGREDIENTS1 pound potatoes, peeled, boiled and cooled (See Note)

1 cup refried beans1 cup whole kernel corn

1 cup shredded, extra sharp Cheddar cheese

2 eggs, beaten1 small onion, minced

1 rib celery, minced1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, optional

½ to ¾ cup cracker crumbsSalt and black pepper to taste(I used cracked black pepper)

1 tablespoon olive oil4 rollsINSTRUCTIONS

Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl using either your hands or a sturdy wooden spoon. Add enough cracker crumbs until mixture holds together, but is not overly wet at the same time; set aside in refrigerator until it is firmed up, about 1 hour.

When ready, scoop out desired sizes and flatten to about an inch in thickness.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When ready, place enough Corn Belts in skillet that will fit. Cover and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until nicely browned on both sides and heated throughout.

Remove to serve in rolls immediately.

Note: If using leftover mashed potatoes or you want to know just how much this will turn into, use about 2 cups.

The Yankee Chef Jim Bailey is a third-generation chef, food columnist, cookbook author and food historian. Bailey lives in Maine with his wife and four children.

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