Cornmeal Crusted Black Bean Cakes (ME)


  • I first made these black bean cakes during my law school years, and hadn’t made them in so long I couldn’t remember the specifics. Many a legal contract had warped my brain since that time. I just remember they were good. So, I gathered the remnants from the corners of my mind – black beans, green chiles and cornmeal – and tried a new spin on it.

    The cake’s crispy edges and delicate flavor make them a great dish, even for those non-vegetarian meat lovers (like me). I was very happy with the results and think you will be, too.

    1 15oz Can of Black Beans, drained
    1 4oz Can of Mild, Diced Green Chiles, drained
    1 Cup Bread Crumbs (any flavoring is OK, I use Italian because that is what I keep in the pantry)
    1 Egg, beaten
    1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
    1/2 Tsp Dried Ginger, finely diced
    2 Tbsp Dried Scallions, Onions, Shallots, Leeks or Garlic (any will do)
    1 Tsp Paprika
    1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
    Fresh Ground Sea Salt, to taste
    1 Cup Finely Ground Cornmeal
    3 Tbsp Olive Oil
    2 Tbsp Butter

    Sweet Corn Salsa (or purchased salsa of your choice, but this salsa REALLY IS worth making)
    Whole Grain Bread
    Sour Cream
    Queso Blanco, shredded*

    *Any cheese is a great addition to this recipe. I purchased some Queso Blanco to keep with the Southwestern theme.

    1. In a large bowl smash black beans and chiles together with a hand masher or pastry cutter. Add bread crumbs and egg. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. If mixture isn’t thick enough to stick together add a few more bread crumbs.
    2. Add sesame seeds, ginger, dried alliums, paprika, cayenne and salt. Mix thoroughly.
    3. Spread cornmeal on a large plate.
    4. Scoop out bean mix in 1/4 scoop-fulls, use hands to form into a patty (like a burger).
    5. Lay patty in cornmeal. Press lightly. Flip patty over to coat other side. Sprinkle cornmeal to ensure coating of all edges.
    6. Heat Olive Oil and Butter in a skillet on medium low heat.
    7. Place patties in pre-heated skillet and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side until crispy. Once cooked on both sides, remove from heat.
    8. Serve warm on a piece of whole grain toast with shredded Queso Blanco, sliced avocado, sour cream and Sweet Corn Salsa. Enjoy!

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