Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Black Bean Burger and Yucca Fries

Good morning! This morning, I'm sitting here with a steaming mug of green tea (fighting off our inevitable weather change family cold), listening to the Be Good Tanyas Pandora station (j'adore!) and thinking about FOOD! I really wanted to share my black bean burger recipe with you, which pairs oh so perfectly with yucca fries (recipe also to be posted below...correlated with photos above!). 
I'm watching Cloveleigh in a pure state of fascination as I type. I've put together a first aid kit for her to use on her babies, as lately she's been completely absorbed in anything medical-related. I'm watching her administer a painful-looking number of vaccinations on her infant baby doll and plastering her with "I am BRAVE!" band-aids. Mostly, I'm fascinated with her precision and her singular focus in this process. Such a thorough, careful girl. 
Additionally on my mind is our weekend full of love and laughter! My sister-in-law and new brother-in-law have tied the knot! After a weekend of complete revelry, we've added a person to our family (whom I adore!) and things are beginning to quiet down around us as the post-party dust settles.
Which brings me to my next point...FOODfoodFOOD! 
Ok, here we go! 
I've probably made a total of 20 homemade black bean/veggie burgers over the years, and I've finally accomplished a combination of recipes which I consider to be the BEST I've had, and I'm dying to share this recipe for you. I SO hope you can incorporate it into your next cookout!

Best Black Bean Burger You'll HAVE! (makes 4)
(best made the night before grilled...warning: this burger has a perfect little zing!)

In food processor or blender, combine the following:
1 can of black beans, drained
3/4 a cup of rolled oats
2 ears of yellow corn, raw corn shaved off of ear directly into blender/food processor
2 thinly sliced green onions
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons of curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper, as needed
Blend these ingredients thoroughly, until the mixture creates an almost paste-like texture. 

Transfer to covered bowl and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. 
The next day, add 3/4 cups of whole wheat or plain breadcrumbs, mix well, and form into 4 patties. Refrigerate on plate until grill-time! 
These must be grilled in a basket, because they are dainty and can be difficult to handle. These can also be cooked in a pan on your stove top with a drop of olive oil, on medium heat. I much prefer the grilling option!

With these burgers, a variety of toppings will create a perfect and thoughtful balance. In the past, I've tried some of the following: caramelized onions, roasted corn relish, avocado, provolone cheese, goat cheese, spicy pimento cheese, tomatoes, spinach, a handful of basil, spicy mustard or honey mustard and/or roasted red peppers.

If you try to make these burgers (please do!) and branch out with tasty, alternative toppings, please share them with me! I would love ideas to further evolve this delicious meal, as usual.
I highly recommend that you serve these with YUCCA FRIES! (yum!)

Here is my very own YUCCA FRY recipe:

Obtain 2 large yuccas, and peel skin with carrot peeler, or industrial kitchen peeler. Skin resembles bark and can be tough to peel, but with patience, will be removed by dedicating only a small amount of extra "umph" than required for a carrot or potato.

Cut yuccas both into thirds, lengthwise. Boil in water, on medium heat, for roughly 12 minutes. If boiled too short, will have a tough texture. If boiled too long, will fall apart. Because of the precision involved in this step, this is becomes a mindful recipe. Yucca should be fork tender when cooked appropriately.

Remove from boiling water. Once cooled, cut in half down the middle, and remove the vein that runs directly down the center of each yucca. This is easy to locate and easy to remove.

Cut into fry-sized wedges. Heat coconut oil on medium heat (I used a cast iron skillet...perfect!), and fry yucca until golden brown. The idea will be to end with a soft center and crunchy, golden brown, exterior to your yucca fries.

My love of raw is in a constant state of war with my love of cheese. As usual, a bit of cheese won the victory. As a result, I sprinkled the yucca fries with lime juice, garlic, sea salt and grated parmesan cheese. I served these with a homemade spicy ketchup (easy! equal parts ketchup and wing sauce!).

This meal is (excuse my language)...damn good. I hope you'll enjoy it!

How ARE you all? Well, I hope! I have lots of delicious fall-inspired recipe ideas coming up this week...pumpkins! lentils! root vegetables! kale!....hope your appetite is ready for them all. I KNOW mine is! Love to everyone. Enjoy your Tuesday! 
PS: Below, is a photograph of my sweet Cloveleigh, the flower girl (seated on a trolley on the way to the church!) alongside my handsome hubby. I hope you enjoy.

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