Sunday, January 10, 2010
whatever happened to mr. bean?
My opinion of veggie burgers hinges on two key points. One, trying to imitate the taste of meat is counterproductive and never works, two, I like a fair amount of "chunk" in the chosen base, whether it be vegetable, grain, or bean. As a result of these two preferences, I'm incapable of consuming about 95% of store-bought veggie burgers with any amount of what I would call "joy." So my cooking gaff last week seemed curiously fated. Essentially, what I ended up making myself was a vat of pretty damn delicious veggie-burger base.
I've tried making black bean veggie burgers before and it hasn't worked out. The right recipe and a little luck later, though, and I am basking in beany success. Thick, hearty, flavor-dripping, perfectly textured, beany success. Yuuuuummm. I served mine with pieces of thinly, thinly sliced zucchini which I seared in the pan at the same time as the burgers themselves. Perfection!
Black Bean Burgers adapted from A Mighty Appetite
You Will Need:
4 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans (about 2 ½ 15-ounce cans)
1/2 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
4 scallions, both white and green parts, minced
3 tablespoons (a small handful) chopped basil or cilantro, or a combination
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the black beans in a large mixing bowl and mash -- do not overmash! Leave a good amount of the beans whole for good texture. Add bread crumbs, eggs, scallions, fresh herbs, garlic, cumin and oregano to the mix and continuing stirring/lightly mashing until well combined. When the mixture is turned out to your satisfaction, portion and shape it into patties about one inch thick. Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper. Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat, without any fat; when it is hot but not smoking, add burgers to dry pan. Cook for about four minutes on first side or until well seared and with a flipping spatula, turn onto second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes, over medium heat.