--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)
Grilling season is here and it's also National Hamburger Month so to celebrate we're going to grill up an old regional favorite. Last week I headed over to the grocery store and since I already had some fresh ground beef and buns as well as Velveeta and Ro*Tel canned tomatoes I picked up a few things I needed to finally try a San Antonio Bean Burger. These heart stoppers are the way the locals of San Antonio Texas like their hamburgers and they are not to be confused with the bean burgers of California which replace the beef with beans and are popular with Veg-Heads.
What your going to need, plus the buns (click pic to enhance)
I'm told warm sunny weather is coming sometime soon and it was here for a day or two last week so I brought out 'The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook' (seen in pic above) written by legendary Houston foodie/writer Robb Walsh. If you don't own this, go get it before summer, it's got some great grilling recipes with everything from regional Texas burgers like these to actual barbacoa in your backyard. In fact you should own all his books if you like real deal authentic bbq or grilling recipes for big strapped and ready (Texas) men. Not only are the recipes authentic but the books are great for traveling, letting you know where you need to go in Texas and abound and the history and people behind each place. Check 'em out.
Ingredients (from the book)
4 Tex Mex burger patties, your choice of size
4 Hamburger buns
1 Cup of Refried Beans (recipe in book or your own)
1 Bag of Fritos corn chips
1 Cup of Chile Con Queso (recipe in book)
1 small can of Pickled Jalapeno slices
1/2 cup raw diced onion
The exact ingredients for a bean burger vary on where you go in San Antonio and another popular way to cook these there is over a mesquite fire. So I used some mesquite chips that were burning strong when I threw the patties on the grill. I liked this touch as it only took on a hint of the smoke since they was being grilled for about 7-8 minutes. Chile Con Queso is a popular Texas snack and consists of melted Velveeta chunks with grated cheddar. You can also add things that you think might be good in a melted queso dish. I added some Ro*Tel brand diced tomatoes and green chilies in there too to make it even better, that's what some Texans do.
Ro*Tel Chile Con Queso
So before you start grilling (get the grill hot) you wanna make sure you got everything ready to go. Place the Fritos in a bag or bowl and crush them. Make sure your refried beans are next to the Fritos and hot for when you add them on to the buns. Cut up the Velveeta into chunks and add it into a micro safe bowl and set that aside and butter your buns.
Note: Do not melt the Velveeta until ready to eat and add in selected amount of Ro*Tel with some juice before or after melting. The cheese stays melted for only so long so you gotta melt it and then use it right away and serve burgers immediately.
Start off by grilling your Tex Mex Patty (hand patted beef with a Tex-Mex rub, chopped garlic, Serrano peppers and Worcestershire sauce) until desired doneness. When you flip the patty for the first time bring out your buns and toast them on grill for a minute or two. Bring in the buns and burgers when ready and let burgers sit while you start making the buns. Add a layer of refried beans to the bottom part of each bun and then dip them in the crushed Fritos and set them aside. Chile Con Queso followed by raw onions go on the top portion of each bun.
The bun is ready for a bean burger
Place the hamburger patty on the bottom bun and put the pickled jalapeno slices on top and make it into a burger. I also used banana peppers on mine. Some places make their bean burgers with a salsa on top as well. There are people like to use grilled onions and others use a round thinly sliced raw red onion. Just make sure you use some form of a onions and jalapeno combination would be my suggestion.
a San Antonio Bean Burger in Chicago
I really liked these, more than I even thought that I would in fact. I've been wanting to make them for a while but I never had the time or already had other dinner plans for that day when I wanted one. I'll without a doubt crave one sometime soon and have to make them again for some friends and fam. As Robb Walsh explains in the Backyard Cookbook "The Fritos sound like a terrible idea, but they make the bean burger sing. The soft beans and crunchy corn chips add a new level of textural interest to the hamburger. And Fritos were invented in San Antonio, after all...". One day in this life of mine I will eat my way thru Texas for a year and call it a career.
Now off to the store to get some Tums and Rolaids...