Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick and Easy Homemade Black Bean Burgers

Nicole and I were looking for a quick, easy, and generally healthy meal a few nights ago. We had missed our chance to hit up a restaurant and the grocery store across the street was closed so we were left with few options other than what was in the cupboard. While wracking our brains I suddenly remembered a super easy and totally delicious recipe for homemade black bean burgers that can more than likely be made with what’s in your pantry right now. After a quick double check of the recipe on the internet this is what we made:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup bread crumbs
½ onion
½ pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1 egg
Cayenne pepper or chili powder, to taste
Cumin, to taste
Hot sauce to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375* or begin heating grill. Place onion, pepper, and garlic in a food processor, process until smooth, set aside. In a small mixing bowl combine egg, cayenne, cumin, and hot sauce, set aside. Pour beans into medium sized bowl and mash with a large fork until mostly uniformly creamy (a few whole beans or bean parts are fine). Mix in egg and spice mixture. Mix in onion/pepper/garlic mixture. Fold in bread crumbs a little at a time; until mixture become firm and workable by hand (you may not need the full ½ cup of crumbs). Divide mixture into 4 parts and shape into patties. Place on baking sheet and bake at 375* for 10 minutes per side, a properly heated grill should only take 3-5 minutes per side.

From here you have a slightly southwestern flavored blank canvass to work on, top it with guacamole, salsa, cheese, jalapenos, barbeque sauce, or anything else you desire. Or you could alter the base flavor of the burger by subbing out the hot sauce, cayenne, and cumin for other herbs and spices. With a little basil, oregano, a squeeze of tomato paste, and a sprinkle of parmesan you’ve got an Italian black bean burger that could be topped with a little marinara and sautéed mushrooms. The sky is literally the limit; anything you can do to a meat burger can be done to these. When we made these the other night we didn’t have the onion or pepper so we left them out and instead folded in some diced mushrooms both for taste and texture and dressed them with spinach, satium mustard, and horseradish. Or how about some sautéed onions and Swiss on rye for a black bean Patty Melt? Plus these are already completely vegetarian friendly, but could easily be made vegan by leaving out the egg completely or mixing in one egg’s worth of egg replacer (I stand by Enner-G in these matters).

These burgers were simple to make, delicious, filling, and require nothing strange or unusual. Oven time make take a few minutes but while they’re in there you’ll have more than enough time to wash up the few dishes this soils and crack open another beer or let that bottle of red start to breathe. Enjoy!


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