Recession buster- Black bean burgers • 02.24.09
Sunday is my favourite day of the week. Sunday is when I get to sleep late. Sunday is when I get to spend hours making complex recipes for dinner. And Sunday is when I get to relax and not worry about the mess in the living room.
It hasn’t always been this way. When I was a kid, I would dread Sunday afternoons. Home from church, changed out of my flowery dress and into cut-off jean shorts, all I wanted to do was relax. Maybe read a book in my room. Maybe go swimming with my friends. But my mother had other plans.
Sunday afternoons were “chore time”. Our whole family would spend a few hours cleaning up the house before anything fun could happen. I hated it. Hated putting away my laundry. Hated cleaning the sink. Really hated the days when my father trimmed the bushes around the house and my brother and I had to carry arm-loads of dead branches to the rubbish.
So, I mostly got stuck dusting. And I didn’t like that either. But everyone was pitching in and I had to do something. My sweet mother, bless her heart, tried her best to make dusting more appealing to me. We would have conversations that went like this:
“SarahKate, can you dust the living room? The bookshelf needs dusting and so does the mantle and you are so good at arranging everything and making it all look so pretty. It always looks best when you do it.”
“Fine. But then I’m going to DeeAnn’s.”
Do you see what she did there?? My mother tried to make dusting the mantle sound like fun! As though I possessed some extra skill for arranging knick knacks post-dusting that made me special. And, although I hated it at the time, I find myself doing the same thing now. I often tell Andy, “Can you brown this ground beef for dinner? You do it so much better than I do! I don’t know how you do it, but it always turns out better when you’ve browned the meat.”
I’ve been trying more in the last few weeks to get Andy to cook with me in the evenings. He works really hard and sometimes doesn’t get home until late, so I know that chopping onions and seasoning fish fillets is often the last thing he wants to do. But, like my mother before me, I love the idea of the whole family pitching in to bring something together. Last week we had fish tacos. Andy make the chunky avocado salsa and I cooked the fish. I loved it! It was fun to spend that time together and to eat something we had created as a team.
But, not everyone finds cooking at the end of the day soothing like I do. So I decided that, rather than have Andy dicing and stirring, perhaps there was another way that we could work together in the kitchen. Something that we would both have fun with and both find creative.
All of this is a very long way of explaining this week’s recipe and pictures. You see, my husband may not find salsa making to be creative, but he loves to take photographs. He loves to come up with interesting angles and perspectives. So, for this final Recession buster recipe, Andy helped me in the kitchen by taking photos of the process. Here are a few of the shots…
The recipe is delicious and heartier than you would expect from what is essentially a veggie burger. If you don’t believe me, just check out the beautiful photos. I guarantee they will make you hungry!
Black Bean Burgers
AU$ 2.68 per serving
2 cans black beans (in Sydney you can find these at Norton St Grocer)
2 tbs mayo
1 tbs sour cream
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs (I made my own by toasting some old bread until it was dry, then blitzing it in the food processor)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
3 tbs vegetable oil
4 soft buns, split
Drain the cans of black beans and add 1 1/2 cans to a food processor. Add the mayo, sour cream, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, cayenne and coriander to the food processor as well. Process to form a smooth, thick mixture. Stir in the remaining whole black beans for texture.
Form the bean mixture into 4 large patties. Refrigerate the patties for about 20 mins to firm up.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the burgers and fry until golden on each side, about 3-4 mins per side.
Remove the patties from the pan and drain on paper towel. Put each burger in a toasted bun and enjoy!
We topped our burgers with lettuce, 1/2 an avocado and some finely chopped tomatoes. I already had all of those toppings in my fridge, so I haven’t factored them into the cost. We also ate this with some baked sweet potato chips- sweet potatoes, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and chilli flakes and baked on a high heat for about 30 mins. A lovely, and really cheap and healthy addition to this meal!