Friends of Nolandia: Mamma Q's Black Bean and Plantain Burger with Spicy Plantain Ketchup

A while ago, I posted about bananas. I humbly begged for Cuban recipes that used bananas or plantains. Finally, like a White Knight from a fairytale, Chris Q from Mamma Q's Authentic Cuban Black Beans answers that call.

Black Bean and Plantain Burger with Spicy Plantain Ketchup

If you sit around any Cuban table for dinner you will almost always notice two common ingredients being served; black beans and plantains. When Alex asked me to write a guest post on her blog, I knew that the two staples of Cuban cuisine would be perfect. Not only are they delicious, but they are versatile and incredibly healthy! The only question was how to turn them into something a bit more interesting.
On our blog, The Cuban Twist, my brother Andy and I like to take something familiar and give it a little Cuban twist to create something delicious and unique. So I gave him a ring and asked him if he had any ideas on how to spice up black beans and plantains. Luckily he came through with a great idea to use plantains as a binder for black bean burgers. And because a black bean burger by itself is not exciting enough for us, we decided to whip up spicy plantain ketchup to accompany our burger. What you are left with is a black bean burger that is full of flavor, chocked full of protein and nutrients, and low in fat.
Being the owner of Mamma Q’s Cuban Black Beans, I always have black beans lying around. If you happen to be fortunate enough to have some Mamma Q’s beans lying around, I highly suggest you use them. If not you can flavor canned beans to your liking (cumin, salt, oregano, garlic salt, green bell pepper, vinegar, sugar, and bay leaves are a good start).

2 cups Black Beans (Mamma Q's if you have them!)
1 plantain, overly ripe and mashed (the blacker the plantain, the sweeter)
¼ cup cilantro
¼ cup red onion
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup bell pepper of your choice
1 egg
¼ cup cornmeal (more if necessary)
½ cup bread crumbs (more if necessary)
Juice of 1 lime
Hot sauce, to taste
Garnish: avocado, red onion, cilantro, anything else you like

Plantain Ketchup
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 overly ripe plantain, chopped (that makes two total, in case you lost count)
½ cup white vinegar
3 Tbsp whiskey
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Hot sauce to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt

Place the beans and mashed plantain in a food processor or blender. Blend until it is well incorporated, but do not over mix.  Transfer to a large bowl and add the remainder of the ingredients, only adding ¼ cup cornmeal and ½ cup breadcrumbs. The consistency should be sticky, but somewhat loose. Add more breadcrumbs/ cornmeal if necessary. Cover and place in the fridge while getting the ketchup ready.
For the ketchup, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic, jalapeno, turmeric and five spice. Stir for about 30 seconds until everything is fragrant. Add the plantain, vinegar, honey, whiskey, tomato paste, soy sauce, hot sauce, and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Take off heat, and cool for 10 minutes. Place the cooled mixture in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Place a heavy skillet over medium heat, and spray the bottom with cooking spray. When the pan comes to temperature, form the bean mixture in to loose patties and place on the skillet. Cover the pan, and cook until it forms a nice golden brown crust. Flip and repeat. Spread the bottom and top of your buns with the plantain ketchup and garnish.

For more amazing recipes visit Q's Blog at: The Cuban Twist
And to get your Cuban Black Beans, (trust me they're amazeballs--I'm actually eating them for lunch today) visit: Cuban Black Beans

Eat well! xx

**I would like to add that Chris and I sat across from each other in homeroom for four years.

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