Black Bean Burgers

Original Recipe HERE

Husband loves him some cheeseburgers.  Bacon cheddar burgers, to be exact.  If there is one on the menu at a restaurant, he will order it.  It's maddening...it's like "Groundhog Day" every time we go out to eat.  And he also loves to grill at home, though he himself has dubbed his offerings "bronto-burgers" because of their extreme girth and density (he packs the meat so tightly...wait, that doesn't sound right...).  I'm always on him to please not use so much breadcrumbs and to flatten them out more.

Finally I took matters into my own hands and made these.  And we all liked them!  I may have just earned myself a permanent job as burger master.  As expected, the kids took the patties out of the buns and ate everything separately, but even Husband had to concede that these non-bronto-burgers were good.  The ingredient list below made eight full-size burgers.

3/4 cup panko
3 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika [optional]
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 red or orange bell pepper, finely diced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheese [optional]
cheese slices [optional]
(1) Combine panko with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil; mix with a fork to blend.
(2) Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko mixture to the skillet.  Toast, stirring frequently, until light golden brown. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.
(3) Place 2½ cups of the beans in a large bowl.  Mash with a potato masher or a fork until mostly smooth.
(4) In a separate bowl, combine eggs, 1 Tablespoon of oil, and spices. Whisk to blend.
(5) Add egg mixture, toasted panko, remaining ½ cup beans, bell pepper, shallot, and cheese to the mashed beans. Stir until evenly combined.
(6) Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, about ½ cup each. Lightly pack into 1" thick patties (I used my 15-oz can strainer to make uniform patties).
(7) Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Carefully lay half of the patties in the skillet; cook until well browned on both sides (8-10 minutes total).  Top with cheese slices during last minute of cooking if desired.
(8) Transfer cooked burgers to a plate and tent with foil.  Repeat with remaining oil and bean patties. Serve warm.

Kid Participation:
* Mash beans
* Mix together ingredients
* Form patties (if you don't mind cleaning up the resulting messy hands)

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