Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Black Bean-Chipotle Falafel Mini Burgers

Beans seem to be having their heyday as they’ve been flying off the shelves, and everyone who had never tried Rancho Gordo before is now placing orders. That has made it good timing for a new a cookbook devoted to beans. I was delighted to receive a review copy of Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World's Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein by Joe Yonan. As someone who has always been a fan of beans, I think it’s great there are so many new bean enthusiasts even though it’s made availability a little more challenging right now. My hope is that everyone continues to enjoy them, and supply and variety increase to meet demand. This new book offers a wide array of dishes to use just about every type of bean there is. There are snacks, salads, soups, handhelds, main dishes, and even drinks and desserts. You can choose to cook your own or open a can or two, and there’s a list of what beans are similar and can be substituted for each other. Yonan presents the recipes as entirely plant-based, but ingredient options include dairy-based butter and cheese. I’ve never met a bean dip or spread I didn’t like, so I loved seeing options like Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Dip and Garlicky Gigante Bean Spread in addition to several takes on hummus. The salads all look fresh and hearty at the same time. The Charred Zucchini, Corn, and Ayocote Bean Salad seems perfect for summer. And, I can’t wait to get my hands on some sungold cherry tomatoes for a weeknight meal of Quick Sungold Tomatoes, Chickpea, and Greens Curry. The Chickpea and Quinoa Chorizo sounds like something I’d like to have in my refrigerator at all times for use in tacos, especially breakfast tacos, and grain bowls. The Cannellini Cannelloni is fun to say and must be delicious to eat with a creamy bean filling and tomato sauce. The desserts involve sweetened beans and bean purees in inventive combinations and aquafaba, the liquid from canned chickpeas, stands in for eggs. I have my eye on a cocktail made with aquafaba instead of egg white for a foamy top. As soon as I open another can of chickpeas, I’m saving the liquid for the Salty Margarita Sour. First, I wanted to try a new-to-me technique for a bean burger. Rather than making a burger from cooked beans, these were made like falafel with soaked but not cooked beans. It makes all the difference in texture. 

As with falafel, beans, black beans in this case, were soaked overnight. The next day, the drained beans were added to the food processor with chopped onion, garlic, salt, and chipotle and pulsed. Mashed sweet potato was added to the mixture. In the book, the mixture is made into regular-size burgers, but I made mini burgers instead. They were placed on a baking sheet and chilled for a couple of hours before frying. I doctored some store-bought mayonnaise with chopped cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and salt and pepper, and gathered the other toppings including sliced pickled jalapeno, sliced tomato, and chopped lettuce. I served the mini burgers bunless with the toppings on the side. 

The soaked-but-not-cooked-beans concept definitely produces a good result and avoids mushiness. The falafel burgers were crisp on the outside and tender in the middle. Of course, chipotle always adds great flavor too. Next time, I’ll make them regular-size and maybe even use buns. And, there will definitely be a next time for these.

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  1. These black bean falafel patties look terrific with an amazing combo of flavours!

  2. Love these I love falafel (and the kids too) I will see your recipe to try !!

  3. That sounds like an interesting book. I've seen a few recipes from it somewhere lately -- I think the Washington Post. Anyway, these patties look terrific. Thanks!

  4. How interesting. I love black beans, and I love falafel! I bet I'd love these mini burgers.

  5. i really like beans. i'm pretty sure i'll eat any bean in any form at any time, but black beans are my favorite, and this is an extra delicious way to use them!


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