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February 19, 2009 / Tony

Hamburgers with Orange and Cumin Black Bean Chili


Burger with Black Bean Chili

I knew someone once who knew someone who led a club called something like the “World Burger Tour.”  The point of the club (which had a rather loose membership) was to seek out and consume the best burgers wherever they were at.  I don’t disagree with the premise of the club.  There is a certain appeal to becoming an expert at one particular food.  That is, to have eaten (and perhaps made) enough of one food to really appreciate all of the nuances and variations.  It’s really no different than becoming an educated oenophile.  I was dedicated to one particular food once: meatloaf.  The remnants of that obsession can be found at  I am unaware of any word that describes meatloaf appreciation like oenophile describes wine snobs. 

But I digress.  The real point of the earlier paragraph is that there is something very satisfying about creating a new twist on an old favorite.  The point is not to create the best burger ever (but that certainly is not an unworthy goal) but to create something new, interesting, and delicious.  That’s what I think I did with my Hamburgers with Orange and Cumin Black Bean Chili.  The vegetarian chili was not only delicious atop my burger but also provided an interesting philosophical contrast.  Along with some freshly sliced jalapeños, the combination was devilishly good.  Here are the recipes, chili first:

Black Bean Chili with Orange and Cumin, from this recipe at Epicurious

1-2 oranges

2 T olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 tsp chili powder

4 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp cinnamon

3 15.5 oz cans black beans, drained

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes in juice

Hot pepper sauce, to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grate enough orange peel to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons. Juice oranges. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and spices. Add beans, tomatoes, and half of orange juice. Simmer over medium heat until heated through and flavors blend, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Mix in orange peel and remaining orange juice. Season to taste with hot sauce, salt, and pepper.

Hamburgers with Orange and Cumin Black Bean Chili

4 hamburger buns

16-20 oz ground beef (depending on how large you like your burgers)

1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 cup Black Bean Chili with Orange and Cumin

2 jalapeños, sliced


Mix hamburger with salt and form into four patties.  Cook according to your favorite method to your desired doneness.  Meanwhile, slice buns in half and spread the bottom half with mayonnaise.  When done, place patty on the bun bottom and top with 1/4 up chili and a few jalapeños slices.  Serve immediately.


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