I know it's been awhile, so let's get the formalities out of the way, shall we?
How are you? How are the kids? Did that rash ever clear up?
Good deal. Now, for the black bean burger.
I am passionate for a good black bean burger. Better than the real thing, in my humble opinion.
I will always, and I mean always substitute a black bean patty when it's an option.
I don't miss the meat because a good black bean burger is moist, spicy, and filling.
Just look at this thing, will ya? It makes my heart go all pitter-pat, and my knees get weak. THAT, dear friends, is a black bean burger SLIDER topped with fried egg and pepper jack cheese. You heard me.
That's the great thing about the black bean patty- it allows you to splurge on other parts of your burger creation, because you haven't spoiled everything by starting with a fatty, greasy meat patty.
For example, the other day at a local burger joint, my husband ordered a hamburger. Then topped it with bacon. Swiss and Cheddar cheese. Then ham. Then a fried egg.
I think he said something like,
"Just to see what it would be like."
The next thing I heard him say was, "Get the defibrillator. I'm having a cardiac infarction."
The fact was, there was just too much meat, too much fat, too much umami going on with that burger. We jokingly named it "The B.L.D," for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
As in, you can only eat half of one of those things and you have had your entire caloric intake for the entire day.
And you need a nap and some Pepto-Bismol.
If he had just started with the black bean patty, his mild heart attack would not have been caused by the burger itself.
It still would have happened because of the bacon, ham, cheese and fried egg.
But that's neither here nor there.
Act Two: Black bean sliders with cilantro and lemon aioli.
Ok, so these little sliders encompass three of my favorite things in the world: black bean patties, fresh cilantro, and aioli. Which is like fancy mayonnaise.
In full disclosure, the patties I made wound up being slightly too large for proper slider classification, but it was my first time ever making them, so I think I did pretty well.
A hamburger is like a Barbie doll. Pretty great on its own, but its really the accessories that make it fun.
Even if you hate the idea of a vegetarian hamburger, I implore you to discover the various ways to dress up your sandwich. There is nothing sadder to me than meat-and-cheese-on-bread. Who wants that? (No one, except about 80% of the Midwest population.) Spinach instead of lettuce, or upgrade to red leaf. In fact, start putting a green of any kind on your sandwich. Red onions or grilled jalapenos. Blend fresh basil into pre-made mayonnaise with a little dash of lemon juice. Bleu cheese instead of cheddar; feta and tzatiki cucumber sauce for a "Greek" burger. Sriaccha rooster sauce. On everything. Mix it up, and you won't be sorry.
Black Bean Patties
(makes a ton of patties. Ok, makes about 20. Which can be frozen)
3 small cans of black beans, drained but not rinsed
1 head of garlic, cloves separated
1 small white onion
2 1/2 cup Panko Japanese breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp dry mustard
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp creole seasoning, plus extra for dusting on top
big pinch of salt 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor with the chopping blade on, chop the white onion and the individual cloves of garlic. Remove the chopping blade and use only the inner cutting blade to blend in order: beans, eggs, seasonings and then breadcrumbs. On two pan-sprayed sheet pans and using a greased biscuit cutter round, form the patties. The mix will be a little wet, so regrease the biscuit cutter often. Season the patties again with a small bit of creole seasoning. Bake patties for 30-40 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool before wrapping or refrigeration.
To serve: heat a sprayed skillet on medium-high heat. Add the patty to the skillet, allowing the patty to sear on each side for 8-10 minutes (if refrigerated previously, less time if they are still warm). Dress the cooked patty as a hamburger, whatever that means to you. Contemplate the never-ending combinations of toppings, like so many small plastic Barbie high heels with matching reversible skirt sets.