Saturday, February 27, 2016

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

I've been eating a lot of meat lately, especially pork.  It's some kind of a phase, but all that bacon and sausage is hardly good for anyone.  As usual, I'm rebounding hard with borderline vegan dinners.  This one has an egg and a yogurt dressing, so it's only vegetarian.  Still, it came out way better than I was expecting.

What I was expecting was a vaguely Caribbean flair, somewhere between Cuban and Jamaican.  What I ended up making was a bean-based patty that tasted almost exactly like a medium-well burger.  I'll take it!  Like the eggplant in the Garden Meatloaf, the plantain got absorbed and was not the dominant flavor I was expecting.  The raw mix smells heavily of it and had me concerned.

What would have made this more tropical would have been a mango or papaya chutney.  By the time I thought of that, there were a lot of people behind me in the checkout line and I didn't feel like getting back in it over one piece of fruit.

The Allrecipes version that I used for initial research had comments about it falling apart and needing more eggs.  That's when I decided to work from dry instead of canned.  This is much closer to an oven-baked falafel than an all-veggie burger, and really requires the firmness of from-scratch beans.

And the salad is front and center because I finally have large enough lettuces to make a salad whenever I want!  It has been so warm that a couple are starting to bolt (flower), as is my indoor cilantro.  I think I'll take off the chicken wire cage next week.  Everything seems much stronger now.

*2/3 C dry black beans
*2 slices bread of choice
*1/2 yellow onion
1 medium plantain, mostly yellow-ripe
*1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
*3 cloves garlic
1 egg
2 Tb olive oil

1.  Soak beans in water to cover for about 4 hours and set bread slices exposed to air to get slightly stale.  Drain beans and rinse.  Refill saucepan with water to cover beans by 1 inch.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 2 hours, until very tender.  Drain and rinse thoroughly.

2.  In food processor, pulse bread into crumbs.  Set aside in a bowl.  Place peeled and coarsely chopped plantain and onion in food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not puréed.  Add beans, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and egg.  Pulse into a uniform yet slightly chunky mix.  You should still be able to make out some of the beans.  Pour into bowl and fold in with breadcrumbs.  Refrigerate until oven is ready.
3.  Start preheating oven to 375º.  Line a sheet pan with foil and smear olive oil on it.  This will grease the pan and provide a light layer of frying oil.  When oven is hot, get out the bean mix and form into 8 patties about the size of the buns you're using.  Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, to make sure the plantain and egg are cooked.

4.  Serve hot on hamburger buns with whatever you like to put on your burgers.  The dressing in the photo is an avocado-yogurt sauce.

makes 8 patties, 1 or 2 per serving

Difficulty rating  :)

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