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Our Guide to Making an Awesome Black Bean Burger

July 28th, 2017
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black bean burger fries and a cold beer

Here’s the situation: it’s Monday morning, closing in on lunch time and you’re hungry — like, really hungry because maybe you had a few too many beers on Sunday and you’re a little slow (read: hungover) at work. The point is you need something that’s not a salad. But, you hit a moral road block because you’ve been pounding cheeseburgers all weekend alongside all those delicious and cold beers and don’t want to keep riding the red meat train.

Here’s the solution: black bean burger.

*collective groans and eyerolls from the readers*

Listen, drop whatever stigma you have on it. The black bean burger is no longer a punted menu item because you have to have a veggie-friendly option, but instead a delicious (and healthy) way to dig into a burger — and we have a fantastic one. It’s not very often you run across a meatless burger with the flavor and consistency that we’ve mastered — trust us, we’ve looked high and low in our “research.” Lucky for you, we’re in the sharing mood, so we’re going to hook you up with the top secret black bean burger recipe.

Let’s get our bean on and feel good about eating your fifth burger in three days.

Here’s your shopping list:

– Black beans, 3 cans

– Brown rice

– Corn, in husk

– Red bell pepper

– Green bell pepper

– Garlic

– Chipotle peppers

– Eggs

– Rye bread

– Potato buns

– Spicy aioli

– Spring salad mix

– Avocado

– Pico de gallo

– Red wine vinaigrette

– Salt and pepper

Now that you’re back from the grocery store — and had a large glass of wine because we all know navigating a Trader Joe’s parking lot is basically the equivalent of getting a root canal in the back of a bus, driven by a blind goat, on an unpaved road zig-zagging across the Andes Mountains — let’s get to cooking.

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Start cooking one cup of rice and preheat the oven to 350° before draining and rinsing the black beans. Spread those good-looking frijoles out on a baking sheet and pop ‘em in the oven for around six minutes to dry them out a bit. Once dried, let them cool to room temperature and purée them in a food processor (or whatever you have around that can turn them into a hummus-like consistency).

Next, take some corn, about three husks, and roast them unpeeled over an open flame. Shuck the husk (so much fun to say) and slice off the kernels, enough for ½ cup. Then take both the green and red peppers and dice those bad boys up. Make sure to dice the peppers into small pieces — it’s kind of important. Sauté ½ cup of each diced pepper in a tiny bit of olive oil for three to four minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, rice, corn, and peppers with a tablespoon of minced garlic (or more if you’re afraid of vampires), two tablespoons of puréed chipotle peppers, two large beaten eggs, two cups of fresh, rye bread crumbs, and one tablespoon each of kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well with your hands to make sure it blends well. Stick the bowl in the fridge for a bit to let it cool.

Once the mixture (oooohhh, fancy science terms) has come together well, you can start proportioning the six ounce patties. Once they look like burgers, heat a pan to medium-high temperature and toss the burgers on. Use some butter/margarine/oil to make sure the burger doesn’t stick. If you have a cast iron skillet, use it because cast iron is the best and anyone that says otherwise cannot be trusted. Cook the patty for around three minutes on each side or until the outside is “golden brown” (Is there any cooking term sexier than “golden brown?” No, the answer is no.) and hot all the way through.

Like any good burger cook will know, you can’t just pop a beautiful burger on an un-toasted bun — so toast that guy however you feel it needs to be toasted. On that bun, spread some spicy aioli (you can make your own or buy from the store) and toss the burger on. Top it with the spring mix, already tossed in the vinaigrette, avocado slices, and pico de gallo.

Serve the burger with some fries, tots, or the rest of the spring mix. And beer. Don’t forget the beer. A nice Belgian-style beer will go spectacularly with it. We think a tripel or quad, because why not? It’s Monday lunch and let’s be honest, you’re not going to get any work done the rest of the day anyway.

A couple of notes here. This recipe will make about six burgers, so feel free to adjust based on how many people you have. If you want to be a cool, urban hipster, the feel free to ditch the rice for quinoa. This recipe is great and easy, but the beauty of it is you can make it your own. Except for the avocado slices. Don’t f*** with those.

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