Black Bean Cakes
I always have an arsenal of canned beans in my cupboard. They are a great quick fix for soups, stews, salads and these terrific black bean cakes.
I have made these twice so far. Once for dinner served with rice, and the second time I made them smaller and served them as appetizers. They were a big hit.
The original recipe calls for cornmeal, which made them a bit gritty, so I would suggest using Masa Harina, a Mexican corn flour that is used to make tortillas. Most supermarkets carry it in the Mexican food aisle.
You can certainly add more spices and more veggies if you dare. The second time I added chopped carrots and corn for more color.
I made a simple guacamole for the top, and everyone loved them!
Black Bean Cakes (adapted from Epicurious):
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained well
6 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chili
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup Masa Harina (see note above)
1/4 cup corn (optional)
1 peeled carrot, chopped fine (optional)
Place drained beans in large bowl. Using hand masher, mash beans coarsely. Mix in green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño and cumin & other vegetables, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg and 2 tablespoons of corn flour (Masa Harina)
Place remaining 1 cup cornflour in small dish. Using your hands, make little balls out of the bean mixture. Flatten to 1 1/2" discs or balls. Dip and roll in the cornflour mixture. Repeat with remaining bean mixture and cornflour, forming about 16 cakes.
Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry bean cakes until firm and crisp, adding more oil as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Drain bean cakes on paper towels. Transfer to platter. Serve warm with sour cream and salsa or guacamole.
Easy Guacamole: (make the guac right before serving or it will turn brown)
3 avocados, pits removed and flesh scooped out
1 tbsp kosher salt
juice of a lemon or lime
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
Roughly chop avocado and mix w/ rest of ingredients to make a chunky guacamole.
Top each bean cake with a small amount of guac and garnish w/ a cilantro leaf.
You can make the black bean cakes one day ahead, and reheat on a baking sheet in a 350F oven for 10 minutes. But don't add the guacamole until ready to serve.