While both of us enjoy meat dishes, Steffanie does have vegetarian relatives, so partially because of that, we have practiced some meatless cooking. One of these has become one of our favorites even when not entertaining–our black bean burgers.
These burgers don’t taste at all like hamburgers, but either of us would take them over an imitation-meat veggie burger any day. One of their advantages, besides being tasty, is that they are easy to make, as explained below. Another is that they are really cheap–we’ve estimated that if you go for bargains on all of the individual components, approximate the percentage used, and account that it will make four burgers (by our size of patties, at least), it comes out to barely a dollar a plate. Cheap, easy, and tasty–you can’t beat that! We often have these at least once a week, just because of that.
The original recipe belongs to Ree Drummond and can be found here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/black-bean-burger/
We tend to make these with a couple minor variations, probably the most critical being the shape of the bean patty: Austin presses them very flat, upping the crunch-to-squish ratio in favor of an experience that’s not imitative of meat but is pretty tasty on its own. Other than that, naturally, we leave out the hot stuff like chili powder and hot sauce–neither of us is fond of spiciness. For the half-sized recipe (starting as it does with just one can of beans) we also probably add inordinately much breadcrumb, since one egg cannot be trivially divided and half a large onion (which tends to be equivalent to a whole onion in most recipes) represent together a lot of ‘liquid’ ingredients, and Austin will add breadcrumbs not really by volume but until the bean paste is stiff and only sort of gets all over your hands while being kneaded and shaped into (again, super-thin) patties that will themselves hold their shape.