Over the past thirty-six hours, I have had the pleasure of realizing how horrible it is to cook dried beans. First, I tried the eight-hour soaking method. After ten hours had lapsed, I tried the beans, which were only about forty percent softened. So I decided to boil them for a few minutes then let them sit in a covered pan overnight. That didn't work, either. So this morning, I boiled the little buggars again, then proceeded to let them sit in their own water for ten more hours. This finally did the trick, but seriously... All that work to save a lousy three dollars!
So anyway, I didn't know what to do with the beans once they were softened (I was actually just excited to cook them because I had never strayed from the canned variety), and then it hit me... black bean burgers! I scurried home with a general idea of how to make them, but once I made my way into the kitchen, my creative juices started flowing... and after they were done, so did my drool.
1/4 lb dried black beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1 very small onion, chopped
1 generous tsp basil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian blend. Also- If you're using canned beans, you may have to adjust this measurement because they may contain more moisture than the soaked ones)
3-4 tbsp ranch dressing (See note above regarding measurement adjustments.)
handful shredded Parmesan cheese
4ish tbsp ranch dressing
salt to taste
1. Cook your beans. Or, unless you're as cheap as me and three bucks really means that much to your poor soul (no pun intended), support your favorite legume farmer and buy canned ones.
2. In a large bowl, mash beans with a fork. You don't have to mash them until they resemble baby food, but do mash
them enough so that about 50% of them have exposed their white innards. Don't try to get all slick on me and use your food processor. You will end up with a mess and wonder why your burgers came out horribly.
3. Add all other ingredients and mix until everything is fully worked in. Mold into four patties.
4. In a skillet, fry your burgers in a tablespoon or two of oil. This should take about 5 minutes on each side.
5. To make sauce, mash avocado and mix it with dressing and salt.
6. Complete your burger by adding cheese, the avocado-ranch sauce, sliced avocado, tomato, lettuce, or whatever else you fancy.