Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Turkey and Black Bean Burgers

Life has been a little nuts lately, so I've been thinking outside the box a bit on nights when we're running low on food and there's no time to hit up the grocery store. After finding ground turkey to be the only meat on hand and black beans to be the lone can remaining in the pantry, I got to brainstorming.

I've had vegetarian black bean burgers before and I've had turkey burgers before. I thought: why not mix the two for a protein-packed healthy burger?! Come to find out, apparently I didn't conceive this idea since I found many turkey and black bean burger recipes online. (Don't you hate it when that happens?!) However, I came up with my own recipe based on what we had available and, I must say, they turned out quite well.

You'll need:
1 lb ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 egg
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
1/4 c. oatmeal
2 T chopped cilantro
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil plus 1 T for sautéing
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Finely chopped jalapeño peppers to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. salt plus pinch for onions and peppers

Sauté onions and peppers over medium high heat with a pinch of salt. Get these on right away before you measure and chop the rest of the ingredients. While these are sautéing away, mash beans in a large bowl with the back of a spoon. Chop and/or measure cilantro, cumin, chili powder, olive oil, jalapeños, garlic and salt and add these to the bean mixture as you go. Then, add the egg, and the onion and pepper mixture to the beans. Stir together.

Finally, add breadcrumbs, oats and turkey to the bean mixture and combine. Nothing really beats the old fashioned method of getting your hands in there to get everything mixed well. Mmmm, raw meat! (Disclaimer: that was not insinuating you should try the meat at this point!)

Form the meat into patties. This recipe makes four good-sized burgers. When your grill pan (or grill) is at a steady medium-high heat, add the burgers. They should sizzle when they hit the pan.

Cook four to five minutes on each side. After that, I placed an aluminum foil dome over the pan and cooked on low heat for another few minutes. This keeps in moisture and ensures the meat reaches the temperature of 165˚.

I served the burgers on onion buns and topped with cheese, ketchup, spinach and chipotle mayo. I made the chipotle mayo by mixing a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with a few teaspoons of Emeril's Essence, which comes in as a handy spice all the time.

Overall, it was a wonderful meal, especially for creating it based on the only two main ingredients I had on hand! Have you ever hit the culinary jackpot after making a meal from what few food items you could scrounge up?

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