July 25, 2008

Fire Roasted Kidney Bean Burgers

15 oz dark red kidney beans, drained
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 ear of roasted corn kernels (about 1/3 cup)
1 small red potato, boiled and cooled
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
juice of 1 lime
1 chipotle pepper in adobe, minced
1 teaspoon of fresh or freeze dried chives*
olive oil

Mash the beans, chipotle and the potato together until fairly uniform in texture but not to the point of paste. Gently stir in remaining ingredients. Add more cornmeal if the mixture is too wet to form into patties. Form in to uniform, fairly flat patties. Place on a oiled piece of foil, brush the tops with oil and cook on the hottest part of the grill, flipping once halfway through cooking. It should take about 10-20 minutes.

Yield: 4 burgers

*I love the freeze dried chives by Smith & Truslow. They have a great, fresh flavor and I don't have to bother keeping fresh chives on hand all the time.

No grill? Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time, or until crisp. Alternately, pan fry.

My thoughts:

my grill friday

When I first suggested the possibility of grilling a meatless burger to my husband he was skeptical. But after eating it, he was a total convert. These, despite being virtually fat-free, are really flavorful. I used potato as a binder and loaded them with ingredients we love: fire roasted corn, chipotle, garlic, onions, lime. Instead using flour, rice or quinoa as filler I used cornmeal to accentuate the flavor of the corn. The corn, onions and partially mashed beans add a lot of texture interest and pockets of flavor which set them apart from some of the mushy, bland veggie and bean burgers I've had in the past. They also cooked very evenly-crisp all over with no mushy, damp center!

Quick note:
While the burgers do hold their shape well, it is best to grill them on foil as they are not as uniformly flat as commercially made burgers and it is a little tricky to slide the spatula under the burgers when they are on an uneven surface. The foil supports them just enough to provide a smooth surface for the spatula and is easy to oil to avoid sticking.