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I make these for a burger restaurant in Dominical, Costa Rica. After many tries and test runs, everyone seems to love this version. We serve it Tex-Mex style with guacamole, lettuce and tomato. I'm thinking of trying to tweak it again to include more veggies, like shredded zucchini or fresh corn kernels, but haven't tried those yet. Be sure to make homemade black beans, as canned ones mash up an ugly grey color.
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cut in one inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, cut in wedges
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cups black beans, cooked, rinsed and well drained (preferably homemade)
- 1 1⁄2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1 1⁄2 cups carrots, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce, like Cholula, Tapatio, Franks Red Hot, Sirachi (NO Tabasco!!)
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup breadcrumbs
- In a food processor, place red pepper, onion and garlic. Pulse until chopped in small pieces, but not finely ground. Put mixture in a strainer to remove excess water, gently pushing veggie mixture down with hands. Put mixture into large mixing bowl.
- Place the well drained black beans in the food processor and pulse lightly until beans are mashed but not ground up. You should still see some semi-whole beans. Mixture will be somewhat dry. Scrape mashed beans into mixing bowl and stir into the veggie mixture.
- Add brown rice and grated carrot, stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, making it a wee tad salty because the bread crumbs will tone it down.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, cumin and hot sauce with a fork. Add to the bean mixture, mixing well.
- Add bread crumbs, ¼ cup at a time until mixture holds together well. It should not be runny, and it should not be crumbly.
- Optional: To ensure proper seasoning and to make sure burgers will hold together, make a small 2 inch patty and fry in a small pan. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- With hands, form patties and fry in a small amount of olive or vegetable oil, approximately three minutes per side until nicely browned and crisp and hot throughout.
- Because of the cumin, these make awesome Tex-Mex burgers. Serve on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and guacamole or chipotle mayo. NOTE: I make these burgers for a restaurant, so I freeze the uncooked patties on a cookie sheet, then transfer to a freezer container or individual baggies. This will add slightly to the cooking time, but they cook up great. You can also grill them on a well-oiled grill basket.