Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taste & Create VI: Bring on the Burger

I apologize for having this to you a day late - I was having some interweb-connectivity issues that seem to have resolved themselves. This is fortunate, because I am chomping at the very tasty bit to tell you about this lovely burger!!!

Quick note: While I haven't yammered on about it too much here (yet), I'm really trying to make an effort towards a more "flexitarian" diet. I won't buy and bring home meats that didn't lead happy lives as animals. It's a pretty abstract idea, for sure, what makes a happy animal happy, but for me to be able to WANT to eat it, I need to know that it was humanely raised and cared for.... that it knew sunshine and wind and life in a way that meant something. We are lucky to live in an area where this new way of eating has been relatively easy to source - between my Organic Butcher and our local Farmer's Markets (where I can get eggs from happy chickens.)

For this sixth round of Taste & Create, hosted by Nicole, I was paired with a fellow Daring Baker, Krishna from Cooking from A to Z. Truly, I couldn't have asked for a better partner. I seriously spent the better part of an afternoon reading through her blog. (Don't tell work!) I gotta tell you, the photography is AMAZING! I drooled over almost everything, from her Pomegranate Chocolate Pots, to her Hot'n'Sour Soup ... I wanted to try it ALL!! Ultimately, though, my choice was made - Black Bean Burgers!

Why the burgers when there were so many other tasty options? Well, because we love burgers and I've never made a vegetarian version - and considering my desire to lead more a meat-free life, these burgers seemed like a perfect choice. Because I'd never done this before, I kept a pretty open mind... bell pepper and apple in a burger? Sure, whatever! I'll take it! In fact, I love that there were so many flavor elements in these burgers - I love love love the feeling of knowing that dinner is delicious AND incredibly healthy. My only horse-up? I don't think I smushed enough of the beans... I had a teensy bit of trouble getting the burgers to stick together. So long as I was delicate enough getting the formed patties into the pan, the act of cooking them helped bind them together.

I served each patty on a roll smeared with goat cheese and topped with sliced avocado (I know, I know, I'll take any opportunity to use either or both in a meal!) I'd meant to roast some baby red potatoes to go with, but I got distracted. Didn't matter in the end anyway, as the burgers were super filling on their own! (And Dave had two!)

Would I make this again? You betcha. And you should, too.

Black Bean Burgers
c/o Cooking from A to Z

(makes 10 large patties)

1/2 medium Vidalia onion - chopped fine
1/3 medium red onion - chopped fine
1/2 orange bell pepper - chopped fine
1/2 granny smith apple - chopped fine
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1.5" ginger
2 cans black beans
1/2 t allspice
1 t olive oil
1 t cumin seeds
a few drops of habanero sauce

Grind up the garlic, ginger and jalapeno into a coarse paste, adding a little water if needed.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and toss in the cumin seeds. Once they're browned, add the onions and sauté them till translucent.

Add the bell peppers, apple, allspice and ginger/garlic/jalapeno mix and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Now add the black beans, salt and habanero sauce and stir. Lightly mash the mixture with the spoon, leaving half of the black beans whole.

Cook, stirring, for a two to three more minutes. Remove from heat.

Once the mixture cools, take generous handfuls and flatten each into a chubby 4" diameter patty.

These can be cooked in batches on a lightly greased pan till browned and crisp on both sides. Serve with your favorite burger fixings!


Anonymous said...

This burger sounds like its got a lot of great flavors in it! I've been meaning to try making a veggie burger for a while, thanks for reminding me.

Deborah said...

What a great vegetarian option!! And I would have added avocado, too!!

KayKat said...

Rock! I'm *so* glad you enjoyed them :)

And I love the avocado touch.

Thistlemoon said...

This is so great Katie!!!! I am so going to make these. I have to say that I totally relate to your post - I feel like I could have written it myself - except that your version makes more sense. But we are definately much more concious about what we are eating these is a good thing!