Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Veggie Burger

Homemade veggie burgers are one of work lunch staples. I make them in big batches, and because I live with someone who won't touch the non-meat burger variety, I don't have to worry about my the fruits of my labor mysteriously disappearing. But truth be told, these are so incredibly easy that it would hardly matter. Black beans are my go-to bean for a burger because they are not only delicious on their own, but also able to merge successfully with a wide range of flavor profiles and ingredients. This burger takes a decidedly Tex-Mex approach, blending hearty beans and rice with spicy jalapeno, smoky cumin, and deep, rich ancho chiles in just the time it takes to blend a few ingredients together in the food processor. As with any veggie burger, the challenge here is keeping them together in the pan, so be a bit ginger when flipping them and allow for a little rest in the fridge before cooking if you have the time.

I wouldn't be a good Wisconsin girl with saying I think these burgers are just begging for a slice of melty cheese. Assertive sharp cheddar is an excellent choice, made even more perfect with a few final touches like lettuce, red onion, and salsa. All the goodness of a bean burrito in portable, freezable burger patty form, these are a welcome sight at any meal, even making for a fine breakfast with a fried egg.

Veggie Burger
adapted from Bon Appetit
makes 6 burgers

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
6 slices pickled jalapeño
1 tablespoon prepared barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder, preferably ancho
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1 cup cooked brown rice
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
6 hamburger buns
Lettuce, red onion, tomato, salsa, avocado, etc. (for serving)

1. Set aside 1/2 cup beans. Pulse onion, jalapeño, barbecue sauce, chili powder, cumin, and remaining beans in a food processor until a chunky purée forms.

2. Transfer purée to a medium bowl and mix in egg white, rice, and reserved beans; season with salt and pepper. Form mixture into 6 patties about 1/2-inch thick; cover and chill 1 hour (this helps bind patties so they stay intact while cooking).

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in two batches and adding remaining 2 tablespoons oil between batches, cook patties until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per side. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

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