Yes these are as good as they look, and of course they are easy to make also. If you've ever wanted to make your own meatless burger this is a good one to try. And also, as usual, this recipe is simply a guide. Change the beans, seasonings, etc., to suite your person liking. And before you ask--because I already know that your thinking it--I'll answer three questions:
1. Can these be made completely vegan? Yes, simply omit the egg and the cheese, and if you like replace it with soy cheese. It may have a more crumbly texture, but still be just as flavorful.
2. Can these be made gluten free? Yes. Cooked brown rice or uncooked instant oats would likely be good substitutes for the breadcrumbs. To use the cooked rice puree it with the beans, and when using oats (which would likely be a better option), add them when you would the bread crumbs and let the mix sit for 20 minutes or so to allow the oats to absorb moisture. This, too, will probably yield a more crumbly texture but still be just as flavorful.
3. Can these be baked instead of pan-fried to alleviate fat. Yes, definitely. Simply lay them flat on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven. The only difference is that they probably will not have the crispy crust as pictured, but they will still be just as flavorful.
I really hope you try these because they are so easy to make and really flavorful. I'd be interested in hearing how they came out, and if you tried any variations (of those listed or your own).
Black Bean Cheddar Burgers
Makes about 10 (4 ounce) burgers
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded cheddar (3-4 ounces)
1 cup bread crumbs (plus extra for dusting)
1 small bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ small onion, minced
½ red bell pepper, minced
¼ cup hot pepper sauce
Olive oil for cooking
Place half of the beans in a food processor and pulse for just a few seconds, until coarse but slightly mashed; transfer these beans to a large bowl. Add the remaining beans to the food processor with the eggs, and process until very smooth; add the bean-egg puree to the bowl with the coarse beans. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl (but not the olive oil which is for cooking the burgers) and mix well. Let the mix rest for a couple minutes, then mix it again. Divide the mix into ten balls and shape into burgers, transferring them to platters or a baking sheet that is lightly dusted with breadcrumbs. Heat a large heavy skillet with 1/8th inch olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers for about 10 minutes, turning them as necessary, or until golden, crispy, and cooked throughout. Transfer to absorbent paper before serving.