Sunday, March 11, 2012

Black Bean Burgers - Lightening Up a Bit for Spring

Okay, so this isn't the aforementioned post on my bedroom mini makeover. Instead I thought I'd share a delicious recipe that I tried out tonight. As today is the much awaited daylight savings time (at least for those of us looking forward to longer days and later wake-up times for their kin), I'm getting the itch to eat healthier - if only to not totally scare my fellow beachgoers this summer. (Though can someone please tell me why Girl Scout cookie season coincides with this time of year?) 

These "burgers" were a cinch to make and came out absolutely delicious and chock full of flavor. I adapted the original recipe and made them a bit spicier by adding chipotle chiles, but they'd be equally fantastic without the chiles. Next time I may actually opt to make them a bit blander so that Sammy can also partake in the black bean fun.

My only complaint is that upon flipping each burger, some of the outer pieces fell apart. You have to be super gentle when flipping the burgers, and even if pieces do break out, you can easily just mold them back to the main burger with your fingers. The recipe already calls for two eggs and about a cup of bread crumbs, so I'm not exactly sure what would make them stick together any better. 

I topped my black bean burger with a slice of pepperjack cheese and arugula, and ate it sandwiched between two pieces of toasted sourdough bread. Try it out - you won't be sorry! (Also, as the recipe serves 6, if you don't need them all, you can freeze the remainder for future use as I did.)

Black Bean Burgers with Corn and Chipotle Chiles
Serves 6

2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobe sauce
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 shallot, minced

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the bread in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Spread the crumbs pit over a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasional, until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. 

2. Place 2 1/2 cups of the beans in a large bowl bowl and mash them with a potato masher (I used the bottom of a rolling pin) until mostly smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the oil, cumin, salt and minced chipotle chile together.

3. Stir in the egg mixture, toasted breadcrumbs, remaining 1/2 cup beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot into the mashed beans until just combined. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions, about 1/2 cup each, and lightly pack into 1-inch-thick patties. (At this point, I wrapped the patties I knew I wouldn't eat in plastic wrap, packed them in a freezer bag, and tossed them in the freezer.)

4.  Heat 1 tablespoon more oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet and cook until well browned on both sides, 8-10 minutes.

5. Transfer the burgers to a plate and tent loose fully with aluminum foil. Return the skillet to medium he alt and repeat with the remaining tablespoon of oil and remaining patties. Serve.

In lieu of his daily snack of Cheerios, Sammy opted for some fresh grapes today.