Just a self-trained home cook in an 8' x 12' kitchen honing his craft…

If there’s one thing our culture is more obsessed with than meat(just start noticing how many times TV commercials show you meat in a span of 30 minutes and you’ll understand what I’m saying), it’s the burger. There are hamburgers, veggie burgers, Boca burgers, portobello burgers…..you get my point. This is why after several kitchen experiments trying come up with a meat-less version, the household consensus was to begin with no longer calling it a ‘burger.’ Once that comparison was off the table, better results ensued.

Now call it what you will and if you look for recipes on the internet, you may have to call it a b*rg*r to get a reliable search result, but the word itself is almost forbidden in my household.

Now, I’m not one to re-invent the wheel, but then again, I’m not one for too many shortcuts in the kitchen either, so when the recipe called for a can of black beans, I took out some dried ones, the box of salt and brined their little hard outtards(this word is my invention- it’s the opposite of innards) overnight. I first saw this method in Cooks Illustrated and I use it almost every time I make beans from the dried form. Simply add 1/4 cup salt to a couple of quarts water and soak overnight.

After their overnight brine.

The next day they’re ready for the pressure cooker.

A great time to utilize your pressure-cooker. 2 minutes and they're done.

How’s that for energy-saving!

Next, I mashed them(I use a bean mashing tool that’s made just for this purpose, but a potato masher or even a sturdy fork will get the task accomplished), then add diced onion(I used red), cooked brown rice and one edible egg.

Additions of red onion, brown rice(cooked) and one incredible, edible egg.

Now mix together and form into portions, patties or ‘cakes.’ What you call them is your prerogative.

The mix ready for dividing into 4 portions.

Ready for a brief chill before cooking.

I practice the chill period after I form any food for grilling, griddling or broiling. It seems to congeal whatever you have chosen as a binder and most foods need a binder. Trust me on this- I’ve had plenty of my hard work disappear through the grates and disappear in a puff of smoke!

After about 20 minutes(or longer) here we are sizzling away on the griddle.

Sizzling away.

I could hardly justify calling it a patty melt without the ‘melt’ now could I?

A little slice of pepper jack couldn't hurt.

So whether you call them sandwiches, b*rg*rs, a patty melt or savory cakes-on- a-bun, you can call this version healthy and delicious!

Ready for service.

Toujours, bon appétit!
© Kyle A Nelson

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