Monday, October 6, 2008

Black Bean Burgers

Rough night.  The girls were determined to be underfoot.  The 1 yr old tries to drag a dining room chair into the kitchen so she can climb up on it and either scald herself on the stove or fall off and knock her teeth out on the tile floor.  Good thing I had an easy dinner planned: Southwestern Black Bean Burgers in whole wheat pitas.  I don't have much for you in the way of photos, though, which is a shame, because I wanted to show how simple this healthy meal is to put together.

If you like falafel, you might consider giving these a try.  Unlike falafel, though, they have a smooth, almost  creamy interior which contrasts well with the pita and veggies.   Here are the ingredients I planned to use, but I made a few adjustments as I went along.   

Black Bean Burgers

1 slice of bread 
1 clove of garlic
1 small shallot, or scallion, rough chopped
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c chopped cilantro (loosely piled in there)
chipotle peppers or hot sauce
1/2 t cumin
3 T mayonnaise
1/2 c melty cheese like jack, mozzarella, cheddar

Fine, dry breadcrumbs
Oil or -Mmm, bacon fat -for sauteeing

For Serving:
Tomato slices
Roasted peppers
               Sour Cream          

Get out your food processor.  Tear up the bread and run it in the processor until it's like bread crumbs.  Drop the garlic and onion in, and pulse until minced small.

Add the beans and seasonings and pulse until the beans are in small bits.  Add the mayo and cheese and pulse just until well incorporated.  You want the beans to retain some texture, but overall not too chunky.

Heat a nonstick saute pan over med, then film it with your fat of choice.  Meanwhile, put some dry breadcrumbs into a dish and glop 1/4 of the bean mixture onto it.  Gently roll and shape it into a patty, and transfer it gently into the oil.  Repeat.  These are fragile, they seem to get softer as they heat up, and you may need to add more fat when you flip them.  The best is to get a nice crusty exterior and a creamy, melty interior.

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