Monday, January 18, 2010
Beet and Bean Burgers
I got this recipe from The Kitchn. Even though I think it has potential, I think there were a few things wrong with it. First of all, I think the beets should be roasted first, then added to the onions in a pan (instead of being cooked with the onions, which took forever and was near-impossible without burning the bottom of the pan). So I’ve changed the recipe to reflect that. Also, while the taste was good, the consistency was not. The patty was way too mushy when it was cooked; it was like eating a veggie sloppy Joe, not a burger. I’m not sure if adding more rice would help or not. The recipe on The Kitchn didn’t make any mention of this – in fact, they loved the consistency of their patty. I did substitute red beans for the black beans, since I couldn’t find any, but I doubt that alone would explain it.
What I loved about this meal was the buns, though. The Engineer made (I was the sous-chef) these light brioche buns from Smitten Kitchen, and that recipe is a definite keeper (though we used out KitchenAid stand mixer for step 2).
Here is the recipe for the patties. Until I figure out how to solve the consistency issue, though, I’d recommend them more as a main course to be served with a side like a salad, or perhaps as a sandwich spread.
1/2 cup brown rice (doubled if you like more rice)
1 onion, diced small
3 large red beets (about 1 pound), roasted, peeled and diced small
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
juice from ½ lemon
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp thyme
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
thin slices of provolone, sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Bring a large amount of water to a boil. Add some salt and the rice, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice until it's a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm. This should take about 35-40 minutes. Drain the rice and set it aside.
Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the onions are translucent and softened. Stir in the beets. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan using the cider vinegar.
Empty the black beans into a large bowl and use a fork to mash them up a bit.
Add the cooked rice, the beet and onion mixture, the lemon juice, the olive oil, and all the spices. Stir to combine and then taste for seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once it tastes the way you like it, add the flour and stir until you see no more dry flour.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over the highest heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil - the oil should completely coat the bottom of the pan. When you see the oil shimmer and it flows easily, the pan is ready.
Using your hands, scoop up about a cup of the burger mixture and shape it into a patty between your palms. Set it in the pan, where it should begin to sizzle immediately. Shape and add as many more patties as will fit in your pan.
Cook the patties for 2 minutes, then flip them to the other side. You should see a nice crust on the cooked side. If they break apart a little when you flipped them, just reshape them with the spatula - they'll hold together once the second side is cooked. If you're adding cheese, lay a slice over the burgers now. Cook the second side for another 2 minutes.
Serve the veggie burgers on soft burger buns or lightly toasted sandwich bread along with some fresh greens. Cooked burgers should be eaten that same day. You can also save leftover mix in the fridge for up to a week and cook just one or two burgers as you want them.