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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pork Rind Bean Patties

I've heard about using ground-up pork rinds as a low-carb substitute for breadcrumbs for some time, but have never tried it.  Until today.  I decided to try the bean patty recipe again and try making it more low-carb as beans are already right starchy little buggers.  The only significant differences I noticed were that the pork rind crumb coating was perfectly adequate in a single layer (as opposed to the crumb-egg-crumb double layer for breadcrumbs) and that the pork rind crumb coating didn't brown quite as dark as a breadcrumb coating. 

When you make these patties, whether you use breadcrumbs or pork rind crumbs, the mixture will be SOFT.  Don't add more crumbs to firm it up or you risk having dry, crumbly bean patties.  The right texture is like a soft cookie dough.  To make it easier to handle, refrigerate it for an hour or more before shaping.  Use a spoon to plop a blob of bean patty mixture into the crumbs, roll it around a little, then do the egg-wash and more crumb thing if you want.  Take a deep breath, it will be messy and that's ok. 

Making the crumbed patties and freezing them ahead makes them MUCH easier to fry, since you cook them from their rock-solid frozen state.  When you flip, use two spatulas...use one to gently lift the patty, and turn it onto the 2nd spatula held at about a 90-degree angle to the first, then lower the patty gently to the pan from the 2nd spatula.  It makes a much gentler turn than slamming the delicate patties a full 180 degrees with just one spatula.

One 6 oz. bag of pork rinds blitzed down in the food processor yielded about 2 1/2 cups of crumbs, just right for this recipe.  Don't add any extra salt as the pork rinds are already salted.

Pork Rind Bean Patties
Makes 4 servings

1 6-oz bag pork rinds
1 cup dry beans OR 3 cups cooked beans
2 eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sage
Optional: 1 egg, beaten

Grind pork rinds in batches in a food processor to yield about 2 1/2 cups crumbs.  Measure 2/3 cup of crumbs into a large bowl and put the rest in a bowl for coating finished patties.

Process the beans in the food processor until well-chopped.  Transfer to the bowl with 2/3 cup crumbs.  Add eggs, oil and seasonings.  Mix very well.  Refrigerate, if desired, at least an hour to make the mixture easier to work with.

To form patties, roll a large spoonful of bean mixture in the reserved crumbs.  Flatten slightly to 1/2"-3/4" thickness.  If desired, dip in optional egg wash and recoat with crumbs.  Freeze or fridge on a sheet tray now, if prepping ahead (transfer to a freezer bag after several hours, if freezing).

To cook, do not thaw.  Cook over slightly higher than medium heat (6 out of 10 on my electric stove) in a little bit of canola oil or bacon fat.  Cook 4 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels before serving. Pin It

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