Okay, so it’s been a real long time since I updated this thing. There’s been a lot of personal nonsense going on in the past couple of months and even though I have a backlog of pictures for posts on my computer, I haven’t really had the inclination to put anything up here. Until today that is.
I am so pumped about the beautiful sunny weather and all the great stuff it brings with it: IPAs, frisbee golf, playing with dogs outside, gardening, and grilling. A couple friends and I just signed a lease for a gorgeous apartment in the city with a little vegetable plot out back and a beautiful west-facing balcony for us to warm our faces on as we sip crispy summer beers and gorge ourselves on all kinds of foods charred over hot coals. In anticipation for that and an upcoming camping trip in Allegany State Park, I made a huge batch of veggie burgers today (well bean burgers anyways) and I daresay they came out really well.
See, I’ve never made anything like this before; I’ve always been content with burgers made of ground up cow or turkey flesh, but after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I’ve really tried to limit the amount of meat I take in. It’s not that I’m against eating meat in theory, I still love the stuff and I certainly see myself eating it in the future (there is a place nearby that sells grass-finished meat seasonally called the Freeman Homestead that I’m planning on checking out), but for now in an effort to be healthier, reduce my carbon footprint and support local farmers I’m trying to cut back on meat as much as I can as well as buying locally whenever possible. So expect to see a lot more vegetarian-oriented stuff on here (you’re welcome, Devon)!
Black Bean and Corn Veggie Burgers
2 15-ounce cans of black beans
1/2 an onion, somewhere between a chop and a dice
3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1/4 cup pulled apart roasted red pepper (I just finished off a jar I had open)
pinch of salt
1 t. ground cumin
chipotle pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
Drain and rinse the black beans and put them in your food processor with the eggs, the pepper, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne, and chipotle flakes. Really just throw in whatever you want. I just happened to have those things on hand, these are so versatile though you can just go nuts. I wished I had some canned chipotles in adobo or something, but alack.
Just pulse all this stuff a few times until it’s kind of smooth, but not so smooth as you would want hummus. This is your main batter so to speak, and once you’ve got all the corn and breadcrumbs and everything in to bind it, you want it to have sort of a meatloaf-y consistency, you know like ground meat or…wait for it…hamburger.
Now add the parsley and pulse just once or twice more to mix it all together and dump the whole thing out into a bowl. Stir in the corn and then mix in the breadcrumbs and cheese. You might want to use your hands for this part and use more or less of either until you get the right consistency. Remember: think hamburger.
At this point you can shape the batter into patties and bake them on some parchment paper at 450 or cook them on a grill pan or a griddle like in a diner. I just made a couple for my mom and I for lunch, then froze the rest for Allegany. I don’t know how it’ll work, I just kind of formed them into the burgers and wrapped them in Saran Wrap. We’ll see when they defrost. Anyways, pretty much every ingredient is optional and can be substituted or swapped out. The only things you really need I think are the eggs and some kind of bread crumbs or bulghar or something to act as binders. I want to do some more with chickpeas and pine nuts and maybe even feta cheese or something like Mediterranean inspired. These ones I served on just some shiny buns we had with some spinach and this sauce from a local dairy. It’s like yogurt with chile and mustard in it and it went perfectly with these veggie burgers. I know that you can get the stuff at Wegmans in the Buffalo area as well as some places in New York. I highly recommend it. Their website is here.