Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crispy Black Bean Cakes with Sour Cream and Avocado

I don't know what it is about the Summer, but I feel like time just slips away. I can pin some of it down: busy times at work, lazing by the pool, a dozen movies from Netflix. I just don't seem to notice the time. I don't know if that makes sense... but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the last 10 days. Why? Because it feels like it was about 20 minutes. Can it really be so long since I've blogged? Crazy.

We are big fans of little veggie cakes. Ever since I tried my first meatless burger at home, we've been big fans. Variations are limitless and they are so easy to toss together (because odds are, you have most of the ingredients in your pantry already!)

What sets these black bean cakes apart is their crusty outsides/creamy interiors. Genius. Mind you, it calls for 12 cakes and we probably ended up with 6. C'est la vie. The mix out of the fopo is more than a little sticky, so keep a bowl of cold water nearby to wet your hands slightly - it helps, I promise.

Once fried and drained, I served the cakes with a little arugula, scallions, and avocados, as directed. You'll see the sour cream and tomatoes on the side - the husband isn't a fan of either, so I didn't mess with dolloping on both. I sauteed some cubed market potatoes to go with, on a lark, and the combo really worked. Not only that, but the variety of colors on the plate really made me happy.

Crispy Black Bean Cakes with Sour Cream and Avocado
c/o Melissa Rubel in Food & Wine Magazine, April 2008

These pan-fried cakes are crispy on the outside (thanks to a thin coating of bread crumbs) and creamy in the center. They make an excellent vegetarian meal, especially alongside a green salad.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
1 1/4 cups plain dry bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
Sour cream, avocado, scallions and lime wedges, for serving

In a medium skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat just until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the onion mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups of the beans and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Mix in the remaining whole beans and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into twelve 1/4-cup patties, about 1/2 inch thick.

Put the flour, beaten eggs and the remaining 3/4 cup of bread crumbs into 3 shallow bowls. Dust each black bean cake with the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the cakes in the egg and then in the bread crumbs, pressing so that the bread crumbs adhere.

In a very large skillet, heat 1/8 inch of oil until shimmering. Add the cakes and fry over moderate heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve the black bean cakes with sour cream, avocado, scallions and lime wedges.

Wine: Soft, plummy Merlot: 2005 Mia’s Playground.


michelle @ TNS said...


it begins.

Grace said...

excellent. you had me at "crusty outsides/creamy interiors." no, actually, you had me at "black bean cakes" and just kept reeling me in. i'm drooling a little bit right now, which is both embarrassing and unseemly, but i don't care because these beauties deserve it. :)