Monday, May 25, 2009

Black Bean Hotcakes

Y'all ready for this? (Nah nah nah neh-neh-neh...) This is something strange that I came up with when Emeril failed me one too many times. I've been using this recipe for close to ten years now, since I was a vegetarian and that was a LONG time ago. Or at least it seems like it. Well, it has a high rating on the website, which kind of shocks me, because I don't think it works too well. It is basically beans and flour, with seasoning and some other ingredients to flavor them. It sure is tasty and filling - but they soak up a LOT of oil, and I'm never quite sure when they are done frying. They just don't crisp up like I want them to. Ever. I've tried very high heat, more oil, less oil... But I've not gotten the result that I think I'm supposed to.

Mainly, I've always wanted them to lift a little. They're so dense and heavy... So I looked up a recipe for pancake batter, and mixed that into the beans. I seasoned them well, and added garlic, cilantro and onion to the mix. Voilà! A black bean cake hybrid that is a bit lighter, less dense, and I could tell just when they were done (flip them when the bubbles come up, just like a pancake).

black bean cakes

Black Bean Hotcakes:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, diced fine
2 Tblesp. cilantro, cleaned and diced fine
1/2 jalapeño diced very fine
2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred with a whisk or sifted before measuring
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
good shake (2 teaspoons or so) salt
liberal dusting of mexican seasoning

Take half of the beans and half of the milk, and purée them in the food processor. Then return them to a bowl and mix the rest of the ingredients together. (Check my lists below: you can dice all of the onion, garlic and cilantro that you'll need for the guac at the same time.) Then drop them as you would pancake batter, about a 1/4 cup at a time in a hot pan. Turn them as you would pancakes.

black bean cakes

It's all about the condiments with me, as usual. So top the cakes with lime cream and guacamole, and fresh salsa or your favorite from a jar.

Lime Cream (my version):
1 cup light sour cream
juice 1 lime
2 Tblesp. sugar

2-3 avocados, diced
juice 1 lime
1/4 red onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, diced fine
1/2 jalapeño diced very fine
1 Tblesp. cilantro, cleaned and diced
salt & pepper to taste

black bean cakes

These reheat very easily (just keep the toppings separate. And if you put enough lime juice in your guac, it will keep in the fridge for a day or two without browning.) I don't think Chris quite wrapped his head around the whole "savory pancake" concept, but he loves the sweet stuff. But I think these are a filling, tasty veggie dish, and might be good with leftover bacon or ham in them, too - if you've fallen off the veggie wagon, as I did!

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