Food isn’t only about flavor for me. It’s also texture. And that’s why I’ve never been a huge fan of black bean burgers. A burger shouldn’t have the texture of mashed potatoes. Know what I’m saying? And the surface shouldn’t be smooth and soft.
Burgers should crumble. The edges should have a little crispy pieces that fall from the patty, fully of intense, savory, burger flavor. And burgers should be juicy – or at least not dry.
This bean burger, maybe the 50th I’ve tried now, delivers on much of this. There are some unusual ingredients, like oats and cooked cauliflower, which contribute to the all-important texture. And a thick tomato on top can add an element of juiciness to the whole experience.
But the true test was my husband, Carnivorous Maximus. I knew these babies were a home run when I made them for dinner one night. He grudgingly tried a few bites, and after a few minutes, he judiciously labeled them “not bad”. It may not sound like much, but trust me, this was huge. The following day, I went out of town overnight for a conference. When I returned, all the rest of them were gone. He ate them completely voluntarily. This is huge, folks, HUGE.
Honestly, he’s not going to turn down a beef burger for them – for that, there would have to be a reordering of the Universe – but we both agreed, this is a really, really tasty burger. And now, it’s one of my favorites and will be on the menu for a long time to come.
Crispy Mexican Black Bean Burgers
This recipe was adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine. The prep time includes a 30 minute chill in the refrigerator to allow the patties to set up.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. Southwest Seasoning by Spicely
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cooked cauliflower
- 2 oz. finely grated pepper Jack cheese (1/2 cup), plus more for topping
- 1 large scallion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp minced Serrano
- 2 Tbsp your favorite spicy tomato sauce or make your own
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the plate
- Sliced tomato, for topping
- Sliced avocado, for topping
- Put the oats in a blender or food processor and pulse 5 times to roughly chop. Add half of the beans and pulse about 10 - 15 times into a coarse paste. Add the egg, seasoning, and ½ tsp. salt and process to mix well, about 1 minute. Transfer the bean mixture to a large bowl.
- Combine the cauliflower and cheese in the same blender or food processor and whirl around for 10 seconds. Add to the bowl along with the remaining beans and cheese, the scallion, pepper, tomato sauce and cilantro.
- With wet hands, form the bean mixture into four patties and transfer to a lightly oiled plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the burgers set up, or up to overnight.
- Heat a large heavy-duty skillet (preferably cast iron) on high heat until very hot; add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Cook the burgers until browned, with a good crust, 2 to 3 minutes; then carefully flip and cook, flipping again if necessary, until the burgers feel firm when pressed with a fingertip, another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve the burgers in the buns, topped with tomato and avocado.
I used Southwest Seasoning by Spicely that I purchase at my local Whole Foods store. But feel free to use your favorite Mexican or Southwestern seasoning.
This week’s #SummerSoiree theme for the Food Network blog, FN Dish, is Burgers! Go see what burgers everyone else in our Food Network blogging group made this week! And don’t forget to visit our Pinterest Board!
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The Lemon Bowl: Filet Burgers with Tahini Garlic Mayo
Creative Culinary: The Canyon Creek Burger from Ted’s Montana Grill
Healthy Eats: Beef and Beyond: 6 Reasons to Cook More Burger
Weelicious: BBQ Chicken Burgers
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Crispy Mexican Black Bean Burgers
Homemade Delish: Stuffed Bleu Cheese Burger with Buffalo Sauce
The Mom 100: Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders
Dishin & Dishes: Southwest Hatch Chile Salmon Burgers
FN Dish: Now, That’s the Stuff: Stellar Stuffed Burgers