Double Bean Burger Patty Melts & Baked French Fries

Monday night’s dinner was a disaster.  Let me say it again.  DISASTER.  I decided to whip up some homemade french fries since I recently bought a 5lb bag of yukon gold potatoes.  I’ve made french fries before, but decided to use this recipe from allrecipes.com.  It said to bake at 450 degrees for 45mins…well, I took them out after 40mins, and 3/4 of them were burnt to a crisp.  I realized that I cut them into more of a “shoestring” size instead of a wedge size (which cooked faster).

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In any case, while that was happening, the double bean burger patty melt fiasco happened.  Everything started nicely, the onions were carmelizing in the skillet (I was actually gobbling them up while cooking them, they were so yummy), then I began on making the burgers themselves.  So I have been on a kick of making my own breadcrumbs lately.  Just put a few slices of bread in the food processor and voila! – breadcrumbs.  As I was putting my burgers together, I was realizing they were incredibly goopy (is that even a word?) and not staying together at all.  I plowed on, and attempted to cook them in the skillet, and yes, they did cook, but they just fell apart so much and became a crumbly mess.  Despite all that, I was able to still make the melts, I just put them on the bread carefully, in spoonfuls. 

My husband (who loves me!) kept telling me they were still really good and he wants me to make them again, but I felt so upset.  First of all, the kitchen was a MESS from all the steps this meal took to make, and the french fry issue, etc.  I also realized it was perhaps due to the breadcrumbs that the patties didn’t stay together…I was looking further on the burger blogger’s post and realize there is more to making breadcrumbs than just processing them – who know?  I had realized that the store-bought crumbs are cripser and compacted, whereas mine were fluffy and more moist.  She included a homemade panko recipe into the burger post that I, of course, missed.

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Ingredients:
-1 red onion, thinly sliced
-1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
-1 large egg + 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
-1/2cu panko bread crumbs
-3tbsp olive oil
-4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
-1/2tsp dried basil
-1/2tsp smoked paprika
-1/2tsp onion powder
-1/4tsp salt (I omitted the salt)
-1/4tsp pepper
-6oz freshly grated monterey jack cheese
-softened butter for spreading
-whole grain bread slices

Directions:
-Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and onions with a pinch of salt (again I omitted the salt). Stir to coat, then cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. While onions are cooking, make the burgers.
-In a large bowl, mash beans with a potato masher (leave some whole). Add in basil, garlic, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper, mixing to combine.
-In a smaller bowl, lightly beat eggs and add in 1 tablespoon olive oil and panko, stirring to mix. Add the egg mixture to the beans, and mix thoroughly to combine, bringing it together with your hands if needed.
-Separate the beans into 4-6 equal sections and form patties.
-Heat the same large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil (or as much as you need). Add burgers and cook on each side until golden, about 5-6 minutes. Remove burgers with a spatula and set on a plate.
-To make the patty melts, butter one side of bread, placing it in the skillet butter-side down. Add a few handfuls of grated cheese, then place a burger on top. Top that with some onions and more cheese, then one more side of buttered bread, with the buttered side facing up. Cook on medium-low heat (slowly!) until the cheese begins to melt and glue the sandwich together, then flip and cook until the bread is golden and toasty (I had to do these last steps a bit differently, because my patties fell apart, so fix them however works for your patties!)

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