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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Platinum Chef Challenge, Round 5

So I missed a few of the last challenges. Wedding planning had me pretty busy, and creatively, I was tapped out. This round certainly looked like something I could handle, and I was ready to get back in the swing of being creative in the kitchen. So, grapes, avocado, basil, black beans, and rice, here we go!

Today, I present my first entry: Black Bean and Rice "Burgers"
Yield: 4 burgers


  • 1 cup mexican rice (recipe follows)
  • 1 (15 0z) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 tsp Franks hot sauce
  • 2-3 tsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2-3 oz Monterey Jack with Jalapeno cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 an avocado, peeled and thinly sliced


Mash the beans with a potato masher or instrument of your choice (I used an immersion blender, which purees most of it and leaves some chunks). Add remaining ingredients except cheese and avocado. Mix with hands or spoon, just until blended. Score with hand or spoon to mark off 4 even portions. Divide one portion in half, making two thin patties. Place a thin slice (or slices, depending on the shape of your cheese) over one patty, then top with the other. Press around the edges to join the two patties (and hopefully keep the cheese IN the burger and not all over the grill :-) ). Repeat with 3 remaining portions to make 4 burgers. Grill over 'medium' heat (our grill doesn't have a numeric temperature gauge) for 5 or so minutes per side, until browned and cheese is melted (and possibly oozing out the sides).

Top with slices of avocado, toss on a bun and enjoy! These are a tad spicy, so if you'd prefer them more on the tame side, reduce/eliminate the Franks and/or cayenne. In this respect, the avocado is a perfect accompaniment to cool your taste buds a bit! :-)
Mexican Rice



Heat vegetable oil in saucepan. Add onion, over low-medium heat, 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add rice, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until rice is browned. Add water (watch out, it will sizzle!) and bouillion, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, until water is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 30 minutes. This makes just over 1 cup of rice.

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