17 July 2011

Black Bean Burgers

A couple days ago, I decided to cook vegetarian.  I do this a few times a week, but it usually isn't very interesting.  This time, however, I tried my hand at black bean burgers.  I've made them several times before, but they are always really finicky.  Too much or too little moisture, and the patties won't stay together when you cook them.  Too little binding and the patties will fall apart, too much and they won't really be black bean-y.  And the patties are incredibly delicate.  You have to get a good sear in order to flip them in one piece, but you don't want to burn them.

Usually, I get halfway through cooking black bean burgers and decide to throw them on a tortilla and call them tostadas.  They just tend to be pretty loose, and not hold together well as patties.  Even the batch I made last night, the patties didn't hold together well.  I think the mix would be better as an enchilada or tostada or something along those lines.  So here's a few ideas about how to use this mix:
- Enchiladas - Pour a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 pan.  Dip corn or flour tortillas in enchilada sauce top with black bean mixture, roll up, and place in baking dish.  Top with cheese and bake until warmed through.
- Tostadas - Smear some of this mix on a tortilla, top with cheese and bake until heated through.  Optional: top with a fried egg!
- Burgers - Form into a patty and coat in flour or bread crumbs.  Fry in a skillet until browned on both sides (PLEASE don't try to grill these, they will fall through the grates and gunk everything up).  Top with cheese and let cheese melt.

I'll also tell you a little about the beer I got to go with these babies.  It was Great Divide Rumble, an oak-aged IPA.  I had never had an oak-aged IPA before, I usually see oaking on darker beers, but this worked really well.  Well enough that I looked up a recipe for an oak-aged IPA, and brewed a batch myself a couple of weeks ago!  We'll see how it turned out in a few months...

Black Bean "Burger" Mix
serves 6
1 can black beans, drained
1 egg
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/2 onion
1/2 bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 t cumin
2 ears corn
(optional: 1/2 T chili powder)

Combine beans, onion, peppers, egg, bread crumbs, and cumin in a food processor, and blend until smooth.  Add corn and stir until combined.  Use in one of the ways described above, or do with it whatever you see fit.  If you have any creative ways to use this mix, post it!

I ate this as burgers, topped with cheese and a fried egg.

Grilled Zucchini "Fries"
Cut zucchini into fry-sized strips and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.  Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  Grill until tender.

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