Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mexican Bean Burgers

 You will forgive the slightly "artiness" of the burger photo. When approaching how to document my recent cooking venture, I was a bit flummoxed as to how to present a "bean burger" with any kind of photographic...shall we say, grace? Anyway, carefully positioned cilantro and limes helped the entire arrangement making it look as delicious as it tasted.

We've entered the timely fall term period at Oxford, which means everyone's schedules speeds up exponentially and there is sadly little time to spend luxuriating in the kitchen over 4 hour meals. I was looking for a quick post-class fix and these bean burgers were definitely the way forward. I will say, the more your refrigerate these bad boys, the better the taste. I also modified the original recipe (From Delicious Sept 2010) to make it a bit more zesty and, well, Mexican. Which meant adding achiote, cayenne pepper, and chipotle tabasco sauce to the mix. The end result was a nice "back of the mouth" heat but of course, feel free to tone down (or up) the spiciness as your taste buds will allow.

Makes about 6 generous burgers

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 red onion (chopped)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (both white and green parts)
1/3 cup finely chopped red chile (1 small chile)
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 400g cans of mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup toasted whole-grain breadcrumbs (about 1 slice of bread)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. pure chile powder, such as ancho or New Mexico
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
dash of tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt

Halloumi cheese for topping
Burger buns


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.

Add the red onion and scallions until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes.

Increase the heat slightly and add the garlic and chile and other spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes

Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the beans and mash together to form a rough lumpy texture.

Gently mix in the cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Adjust for spiciness here.

Shape the mixture into 6 equal 3/4-inch-thick patties. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. (This mixture also freezes well)

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers until nicely browned on both sides, flipping carefully, about 5 minutes total.

If adding cheese, put a slice on top of each burger and then stick under the grill/broiled for about 5 minutes until the cheese has melted slightly and turned a nice golden color.


  1. I'm totally doing this...and I'm thinking, some kind of cilantro-sourcream sauce on top, instead of the buns? (or go to town and have it BOTH ways!) But now that I'm an old lady i have to watch my carbs.

    God, I have missed your Mexican cooking; is there anyway you could post the recipe for that awesome bean salad you used to make in the Bunker?

  2. You should totally have it both ways. I had it with the halloumi (as the photo obviously demonstrates) and it was...oh my, delicious. Add that with cilantro/sourcream glory? For. the. win.

    Oh man, the culinary creations of the bunker. I miss those days.

    I'll totally see if I can find that Mexican salad hidden somewhere in the depths of my recipe book. It's gotta be somewhere, right?


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