No. 123 & 124: Black Bean Burgers & Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

It is a busy week folks. A very busy week.

New hire training, busy evenings, lots to cook. I'm feeling a bit scattered.

For weeks like this, there is nothing better than a ten-minute entree and quick side. After the success of our chilaquiles, I wanted another recipe that promised fast and tasty results.

It's also fun to play around with reinventions of familiar dishes. I didn't realize it until after we'd eaten this meal that both recipes are riffs on old standbys.

Black Bean Burgers

There are lots of meatless burgers in the world, but this one sounded like it had some fun, spicy flair.

Serves 4
2 14 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 soft hamburger buns
Toppings: Sour cream, salsa, lettuce

To make

Pulse 1 can beans in a food processor with mayonnaise, bread crumbs, cumin, oregano, and cayenne until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cilantro and remaining can beans.

Cilantro

Bowl mixture

Form mixture into 4 patties. Heat oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 minutes total.

Cooking

Serve on buns with desired toppings.

Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.

Drying

Note: Yes, this was yellow cauliflower to start. Don't panic.
Second note: I completely forgot to take any more photos after this. Sorry!

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper until almost smooth.

Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter.

The results

My apologies for completely spacing out on a 'final' picture. I was so focused on getting our plates on the table and some dishes in the sink that I totally forgot.

In a nutshell, the burgers were awesome. The "mashed potatoes" were ok.

We'll start with the beans. If you want a thick hearty dip, you could just stop the recipe before the patty stage and serve it as a bean spread with tortilla chips. You could also use it as a tortilla filling when you're making tacos or enchiladas. Mmmm.

With a bit of frying, this recipe also makes a nice burger. Be sure to make the patties nice and thin so a crunchy outer layer can form.

The cauliflower was nice and sweet, with a great buttery taste. It just never quite got to the consistency of creamy potato goodness. I didn't mind it, but not the best reinvention of this vegetable I have made. I still prefer the "fried rice" version.

Bonus Recipe

The night after making the black bean burgers, I used the spread to line the tortillas in these delicious chicken enchiladas.

Chicken Enchiladas

Fill them with chicken, cheese and caramelized onions. Top with salsa verde and cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Finish with chopped cilantro.

So good!

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Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com