Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just Another Meatless _ Wednesday?

We have been on a B-B-Q tour lately, eating up the remainder of the overly large smoked butts and ribs from the 4th of July.  Out bellies and our mouths needed a break, but I still had a boatload of hamburger buns left.  I am not opposed to something with a high protein content, but we had almost overdosed on rich meats.  What to do? What to do?

Yesterday I went to the health food store and bought some adzuki beans. They had been happily soaking in water overnight waiting to become the main attraction in a beans and rice meal.

Today I saw a recipe for black bean burgers.  Hmmmmmm, bean burgers equals a way to use the remaining buns.  I figured there would be little difference between the taste and consistency of the adzuki and black beans.  Additionally the adzuki beans are supposed to have a very high protein content.  Dinner was decided by forces beyond my control.  I love it when outside forces do that!

Put the beans in a large pot and cover them with water. Add  about 1 teaspoon of salt and turn them on high until they began to boil.  Add enough additional water cover about 1 inch over the top of the beans, put the lid on them and let them simmer for about 40-45 minutes.  They did not expand much and I ended with little more than the 1/12 cups I put in the soaking water.

I had no idea how this would work out, and kind of winged it based on what I had available and how a traditional basic bean burger is formed.  I really had no idea there was even such thing as a "traditional" bean burger. I guess this old dog could learn a new trick or two after all.

Drain the steaming hot beans in a colander. The recipe I was looking at suggested grinding them in a food processor.  I did not want them to feel mushy so I used used my handy dandy potato masher and mashed the beans until they were about the consistency of ground beef.   Added to the beans were 1/2 cup minced onions, 3 grated carrots, 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

This is how it looked  when it is was all mixed together.  

Form into 5 patties ( I put them on a hot greased griddle. This is probably a mistake. ) Put them on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 15-20 minutes.  Then after they cook a little, carefully put them on a greased griddle to brown and crisp both sides of the patty.  (As it was, I had a tad of breakage and I believe the oven cooking might firm them up a little).  I added cheese to 3 of the patties and left 2 plain.  The ones with cheese were the first taken!  Imagine that!  

This is how they looked straight from the griddle

And here is a shot of a fully dressed, about to be eaten bean burger.  It looks a lot like a regular hamburger.   Each of us used mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard, a slice of tomato and a dill pickle.  We all wanted lettuce but it seems someone (me) forgot to buy any yesterday. ( I have noticed all produce purchases seem to be my domain, ice cream purchases can be done by everyone else though.)  

The taste was very, very good.  It did not "feel" like meat, but it did not feel like mushy beans either.  The onion and carrot pieces added quite a bit of texture and flavor.  The cilantro was not strong or pronounced but really enhanced the taste of the burger.  I think next time, and yes I will make these again, I will use panko instead of regular bread crumbs.  It should add just a little more texture to the mixture.  Will let you know after another try if it makes any difference.

If you want a cheap meatless option for supper this might work for you.  Exclusive of the soaking time, it is a pretty quick dinner.  After the initial bean cooking time they were on the table in 15 minutes.  Easy Peasy!

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