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Group Food Preparation in the Pond House Kitchen

 

During one of his visits
to the farm,
our nephew, Elliott,
cooked his Spicy Black Bean Burgers
for us.
We loved them
and he shared the recipe.
Later, I got to visit our friends
Steve Kemble and Mollie Curry
of MudStrawLove,
at their home in Asheville, NC.
(Mollie and Steve led
our week-long straw bale construction workshop.)
One morning,
we brunched at a delightful restaurant
called Sunny Point Cafe.
Mollie suggested I try the
Huevos Rancheros —
and a new Turtle Rock Farm favorite
was born.
In our attempt to recreate
Sunny Point’s dish,
we use Elliott’s Black Bean Burgers
as the foundation
for a delicious
and extravagant
pile of goodies:
chorizo sausage,
tomatilla sauce,
feta cheese,
cilantro,
zucchini,
bell peppers
and a fried egg!
Sunny Point’s original version
has potatoes; we substitute
sauteed zucchini and bell peppers.
One of our friends enjoyed this dish
so much
he serves it to his family
on Christmas Day.
It’s that festive
and it’s that good.
It’s not just morning food;
we’ve also served it at lunch
and dinner.

Sunny Point’s Extravagant Brunch

Elliott’s Spicy Black Bean Burgers

(Adapted from “Recipe of the Week: Burgers” by Sally Simpson)

4 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans (about 2 1⁄2 15-ounce cans)
1/2 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
4 scallions
3 tablespoons (a small handful) chopped basil or cilantro, or a combination
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (or3 teaspoons fresh)
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place 2 cups of the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chunky. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining whole black beans, plus panko, eggs, scallions, fresh herbs, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined. Form into patties about 1-inch thick (about three inches in diameter.) If you have the time (you’ll be glad you did) chill patties for 15 minutes so they can set up.
When ready to cook, remove patties from refrigerator and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat, without any fat; when it is hot but not smoking, add burgers to dry pan. Cook for about four minutes on first side or until well seared and with a flipping spatula, turn onto second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes, over medium heat.

Makes four to six burgers.

Tomatilla Sauce

Tomatillas, chopped
Onion, chopped
Canned or fresh Serrano pepper, minced
Saute briefly, until juicy

About portions – depending on how many you’re serving. Maybe six or seven medium tomatillas, a medium onion, one pepper (unless you want more.)

Building the Dish

Chorizo Sausage, crumbled and fried
Zucchini, Red or Green Bell Pepper, sliced and sauteed
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Eggs, fried
Salt and Pepper to taste

Make the Black Bean Burgers, the tomatilla sauce, fry the sausage, saute the vegetables and keep warm. Crumble the cheese and chop the fresh cilantro. Fry the eggs last.

Of course, at Sunny Point Cafe, they serve each guest’s plate. We like to put plates and bowls with all the components on the table, and serve family style so that everyone can build their own. It’s a lot of fun. Fun too, if guests can join you in the kitchen chopping and cooking!
Much of this wonderful dish can be grown or purchased locally. Producers in Oklahoma sell locally-grown and produced Chorizo Sausage through the Oklahoma Food Coop. There too, you can find locally grown and produced Feta Cheese and Eggs. Vegetables, herbs and eggs can also be purchased at local farmers markets. Consider growing your own herbs. One of our favorite sources for locally-grown food, even in the winter, is our friend Paulette Rink‘s Rowdy Stickhorse Market Bus. She brings several Oklahoma producers’ fresh products to Enid, Fairfax, Stillwater and Oklahoma City, weekly — all winter long. Thank you, Paulette!