Saturday, February 9, 2013

Guest Post: Anthony's Perfect Black Bean Burger, served California-style

Please welcome my partner and best friend, Anthony, for the next guest post! The best part about this recipe is that I got to taste the result and it was incredible. Enjoy!
This is my favorite recipe for preparing black bean burgers. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've tasted few recipes that even come close to this one. It's flavor- and texture-rich, and even better, it's easy to prepare. It is the perfect dish to serve with a beer for a late-spring supper on the porch or rooftop, but it is hearty enough to fill you up during these colder months too. This recipe is adapted from "Spiced Black Bean Burgers" at epicurious and makes four burgers.

Prep Time: 20 minutes 
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

for burger patties
One (1) 16-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup of minced red onions
1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of your favorite chunky salsa
One (1) teaspoon of ground cumin
Three (3) dashes of ground cayenne

for sandwich
One (1)  ripe avocado
One (1) package Smart Bacon, bacon-style strips from LightLife 
Four (4) whole-wheat hamburger buns 
Twelve (12) slices of white cheddar cheese -- I'm a big fan of Cabot or Yancey's

Preheat the oven as prescribed on Smart Bacon package.
Rinse and drain the black beans, then place them in a large mixing bowl. 
Press beans with a fork until they appear as more of a mush than a pile of beans. 
Mince the red onions. (Note: mincing red onions is hard. It sucks, but the smaller you chop the onion, the closer the consistency of the mash will be to ground-beef. Here is a tutorial.) 
Stir in red onions, bread crumbs, salsa, cumin and cayenne. 
Once stirred thoroughly, use your fork to once again press the ingredients into something resembling ground-beef .
You'll need clean hands now, so if you haven't already done so, go wash 'em. Now, using your hands, form the mash into four large burger patties. 

Now is probably a good time to start the Smart Bacon. Follow the directions for oven preparation on the package. This is also a good time to slice your cheese and avocado.
Coat a large frying pan with oil (vegetable or EVOO) and turn your stove-top to medium-high. 
Place your burgers in the pan, cook them for about four minutes per side, flipping once. The key here is to form a firm layer on each side of the burger for texture, and to ensure that they are heated all the way through. 
When the burgers and Smart Bacon are done, layer them on the buns with the cheese and avocado.
Serve warm with cold, craft beer. 

Don't be afraid to mix up this recipe. It's great on the grill too, but cook it on top of foil if you don't want it falling apart and into your coals. Also try spicing the burger up by layering any sort of hot sauce on each side of the burger during cooking. 

Anthony Moll is a Baltimore-based writer, editor and eater. He is a regular contributor to Baltimore Gay Life, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Selzter Zine, UB Post and Gertrude Journal. He runs an online literary journal at

He can be heard ranting at @AnthonyWMoll.