Friday, June 4, 2010

Jamaican Black Bean Burgers

My buddy Arturo has been nagging me since I started this food blog to post this recipe. So I think I better dedicate this one to him.

This one isn't nearly as spicy as some of my other jerk recipes. It just has a nice, full Caribbean flavor. Along with the cucumber and papaya, this makes an absolutely delicious meal (ignore the radishes and lettuce in the picture--I ate all the cucumber before I got around to photographing).

The mayonnaise and Pickapeppa are also totally indispensible in this recipe. If you don't already know and love Pickapeppa, I can tell you that it is the single greatest substance known to man. Seriously. It's a Jamaican barbecue sauce made with cloves, mango, and other delicious tidbits. Pickapeppa is available at any large grocery store or natural food market. It makes everything delicious--from eggs to steak to Jamaican sushi. And for Chrissakes, make your own mayonnaise. It takes less than 2 minutes and is far better than the garbage you buy at the store.

Note that if you wish to save some time, you can use store-bought jerk paste, but the spiciness and saltiness of different varieties varies significantly, so be sure to taste as you go.

Prep time: 2 cocktails

1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil, divided
2 cans drained black beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed by hand or in food processor
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup bread crumbs
½ cup oatmeal (not instant)
¼ cup white flour
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup jerk paste (click here for recipe)
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1-2 papayas or mangoes, peeled, seeded, and sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
Mayonnaise, homemade (click here for recipe)
6-8 buns

In a large bowl, combine 1 TBSP of the oil, beans, egg, bread crumbs, oatmeal, flour, onion, garlic, jerk, salt and pepper. Stir well. Let sit 10 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. When hot, scoop out a half cup of the mixture and form with your hands into a patty shape (if you have wet hands, this will be easier… and if dough is still too sticky to work with, add another TBSP or two of flour, until it becomes workable). Cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned, firm, and a bit crisp. Add more oil, to the pan, if necessary.

Serve on buns with slices of papaya, cucumber, mayonnaise, and Pickapeppa.

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