Shrimp is one of the things that M will almost always eat. Almost. He likes them cooked any way and in any flavor combination. But you know what? I worry about shrimp. There's a lot of variety and choice at the supermarket and it's hard to know what's best. Fresh or frozen? Large or small? Shells or no shells? Pink, white, tiger, or rock? Wild or farmed? Do I really need to spend $40 a pound? See? It's crazy making. I did a little (very very little) bit of research and there are a few guides out there to help determine what's right for you.
Once you figure it out (or not, sometimes you just have to choose your choice and be done with it), these shrimp and black bean burgers are tasty and easy and summery and healthy. They're gluten-free because corn flour or corn meal are your binder. And though there's a long list of spices in there, the end result is subtle and complex, considering.
And the chives add a nice green note to the burgers, but if you don't have any or can't find any, scallions are a nice substitution.
A note about your choice of corn meal vs corn flour: I've made these with the the finest corn flour and the coarsest corn meal and they're good either way, so use what you have on hand. Just know that the finer the corn flour or meal, the better the patties stick together. The coarse meal works well, but you may have a bit of breakage in the cooking process.
Black bean and shrimp burgers
12 oz shrimp, uncooked
12 large or 20 small chives, torn or chopped into large pieces
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp Mexican oregano
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
½ tsp salt
3/4 cup corn flour or meal
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
lime wedges for serving
If using frozen shrimp, defrost in lukewarm water and squeeze lightly before measuring.
Add whole raw shrimp to a food processor with the chives and the spices and pulse about 10-12 times until the spices are distributed and the shrimp are chopped into medium pieces.
Turn the shrimp mixture out into a bowl and add the eggs, cornmeal, and black beans. Mix well, smashing some of the beans with your spoon or spatula.
Form into 12 balls or patties (about a heaping ¼ each) and chill for 20 minutes.
Heat a skillet with some oil over medium heat. When ready turn heat down to medium low and brown on one side for 3-5 minutes. Flip the patties and repeat on the other side. Cover the pan, turn heat down slightly, and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. (I usually just split one open to test it.)
Yield: 12 patties