18 March 2011

Bean Burgers

What to do with a bunch of chickpeas? Whizz them up with kidney beans and turn them into bean burgers. Obviously. I was planning on doing a roast chicken (more on which tomorrow) but as it hadn't completely defrosted, I was stuck with a bowl of chickpeas (which had been soaking for two days, which means I bought them raw and not in a can!) and the knowledge that when Tom came home to bean burgers for dinner, he would be a very happy man. Indeed he was. His genuine enthusiasm was quite endearing.

Anyway, for some reason I'd decided not to blog this recipe, hence the lack of in-process pictures. Also the fact that you may need to play around with quantities a bit to get the texture of the burgers right. Regard the below as guidelines (fairly accurate guidelines, but guidelines nonetheless) and enjoy a meal which is tasty and meaty (except it's not!) and actually - in my case - going to be quite easy to do again, as long as I remember to soak the chickpeas first.

Bean Burgers
Makes 6 large burgers

1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chickpeas
1 can kidney beans (410g)
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon powdered stock
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used crushed Pringles)
1 egg
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/2 to 1 cup flour, plus more for your hands
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
Seasoning aplenty

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and kidney beans and blitz with onion and garlic in a food processor until they are mulch. A few whole or near-whole beans remained in mine, which didn't bother me at all - it added to the texture and, dare I say, character of the final burgers.

Mix in a bowl with herbs, chilli, stock powder, breadcrumbs, egg, tomato and half a cup of flour. Season generously. It might be too liquidy at this point, in which case add the extra half cup of flour and, if necessary, more of the other solid ingredients (such as breadcrumbs). You don't want 'floury' to be the predominating flavour.

Once the batter (for want of a better word!) is fairly stiff and looks like it will hold up to shaping, flour your hands and make it into burgers (or patties). I got six large burgers out of mine; you will get more or less depending on how big your burgers are, how many various extras you had to add, and how much of the batter ends up on your fingers rather than on the plate.

I then chilled the burgers for ten minutes in the fridge. This probably isn't necessary, but it helped us coincide cooking times so that everything was ready together.

Melt the butter and oil in a large-bottomed frying pan over a medium flame, and add the burgers to the pan. Cook for about five minutes each side (again, depending on thickness) before serving.