Thursday, August 9, 2012

Burger Night

I made some yummy home-made black bean burgers the other night, and they were a raging success. Especially when I compare them to the ones the bf and I made together last spring--we had to mash 2 cans of beans with a plate and the bottom of a glass drinking cup for lack of a food processor. It was labor intensive and they were totally bland, so I looked through a handful of recipes online and compiled my own! Unfortunately, we were so involved in eating them that I forgot to take a picture :( next time!

*Keep in mind that the black bean burger is very basic and is a great template to experiment with. If you don't like the seasonings I used, feel confident that you can scratch them and just wing it. My only advice is to add much more seasoning than you think is necessary, it takes a looooot of seasoning to not turn out bland.

Bangin' Black Bean Burgers

Yield: 5-8 patties (depending on how big you make them, duh)

1 1/2 C crushed crackers, bread crumbs, or torn up hamburger bun
2 T olive oil, and some on hand for pan frying
1 generous T of minced garlic
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 t grated lime rind
1/2 t salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 T smoked paprika
red pepper flakes to taste (lots)
1/2 C shredded parmesan (not the unrefrigerated, powdered kind. it won't melt properly)
1 t or 1/2 T chia seeds (optional)

1. Combine the oil, garlic and beans in a food processor until they make a thick paste. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, and then throw everything else in there too. Mix it all up!

2. Heat a T of olive oil or so in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Now you can either make a patty with moistened hands and plop it down gently in the skillet, or you can use a pancake spatula and a rubber spatula (or w/e) to place a dollop on the skillet and shape in a generally round fashion, which I found to be easier. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the bottom edges are browned and have formed a crust. Flip and repeat!

         Keep in mind that homemade veggie burgers are much more delicate than store bought, and you have to be super gentle to keep them from falling apart (which is why a grill is not recommended). I found that making the patties thicker made them easier to flip (I also added chia seeds on a whim, they thicken things up with their gel)(not gross I promise). You'll just have to experiment and if you find them breaking apart, mix in more breadcrumbs or egg.

I served mine with dijon mustard, slices of pepperjack cheese and fresh spinach on bakery hamburger buns. Hope you enjoy!

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