Monday, October 19, 2009
Black Bean Burgers: Satisfying my animalistic urges... with beans
Bacon and burgers. It’s all anyone talks about any more. Well, fine, maybe the occasional balloon boy too, but puking six-year-olds aren’t likely to be gracing the cover of Gour... err... Saveur anytime soon.
All the cow and pork love isn’t a bad thing – I sincerely believe that bacon really does make everything better (except maybe congenital heart disease) – but I typically prefer clogging up my arteries with ice cream and chocolate instead. Of course, my girly/hormonal tendencies don’t necessarily mean that I don’t crave the experience of eating a messy burger from time to time. Who doesn’t love biting into something that, as the Carl’s Jr. motto says, “gets all over the place?” Even with my faux displays of feminine primness, I am no exception. I find it inexplicably satisfying to sink my teeth into a hearty hunk of flesh, bun and drippy toppings that require a tree’s worth of napkins to get through. The ritual feels animalistic in a good way – like I am declaring to the world, “I am woman, hear me (attempt to) roar.”
The only problem is (please prepare for shock)…
… I am rarely in the mood for a burger.
It’s not that I disapprove of ground up cow in patty form, but in the past four or so years, I haven’t felt a need to eat a hamburger in the way that I feel the need to massacre a giant chocolate chip cookie. Even so, I still crave the ritual of masticating something that “gets all over the place.” Sometimes when that urge strikes, I turn to tacos or ice cream sandwiches; other times I opt for a doppelganger burger – ie. a veggie burger.
I’ve sampled quite a few animal-friendly burgers during my cowless burger streak, and, in all honesty, can’t say that any have made me think I was noshing on actual flesh. Of course, since I’m not necessarily in the market for a patty that makes me think I’m eating something that may contain E-Coli, that isn’t a bad thing. All I really want is something that gives me reason to go through a big wad of napkins.
Two weeks ago I found that reason with Mark Bittman’s recipe template for black bean burgers. Using the Gastronomer’s helpful suggestions (nix the excess liquid, and don’t attempt to form the patties prior to cooking), I fried myself up a beefy burger and then went to town on it with the leftover contents of my fridge and freezer. I loved being able to customize my burger to my exact specifications, and was even more thrilled when I bit into the hefty sandwich and got avocado cilantro dressing on my face and hands. (Possibly my blogger prom t-shirt and baggy sweatpants, as well.) It was primal eating at its finest. And as such, will not be repeated in public (until after I trick someone into marrying me).
Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from Mark Bittman via Gastronomy Blog
½ cup black beans
3 tablespoons oatmeal
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons frozen corn
¼ white onion, chopped
½ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon or so egg
Salt, pepper to taste
English muffin, toasted
Avocado cilantro dressing
Sauté chopped onions in a frying pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, until tender. Combine black beans, oatmeal, onions cilantro, cumin, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl, and then mix together using an immersion blender or blender. Stir in the corn.
Heat olive oil in nonstick pan over medium high heat. Drop burger mixture into pan and form into a patty. Cook 4 minutes per side or until cooked through and golden brown. Serve on English muffin and top with avocado cilantro dressing, sautéed onions, feta cheese, and arugula.