I Want a Taste of You, Baby Cakes
This recipe was all the doing of my buddy Karen – you see, this month has been banana cakes and not in the good way. My schedule’s relentless and although I’ll never cop to biting off more than I can chew, my mouth is as full as my plate and work is looking like an endless buffet. Karen and I are cooking buddies, seeking out new techniques in the kitchen and regularly participating in the monthly challenges proffered up by the online foodie club, The Daring Kitchen.
Karen immediately dug through her mental rolodex of recipe majesty, a good thing because my brain was more fried than a bucket of chicken from the Colonel. She remembered a fabulous black bean cake recipe from Emeril Lagasse would be perfect to make. I was relieved for her quick wit and paired the cakes with a fresh pineapple salsa enlivened with piquant red jalapenos and a simple avocado crema made with greek yogurt and lime. The final result was ridiculously good – a composed plate that looked like it should be served at a fancy pants restaurant rather than the picnic table in my backyard. Plus, the time we spent cooking was a welcome respite from the piles of work in front of me. Good times!
1 c. of fresh pineapple, cut into small dice
1 red jalapeno (or 4 tbs of red bell pepper), small dice
3 tbs. of red onion, small dice
2 tbs. of minced cilantro
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp. of olive oil
pinch of salt
1 c. of greek yogurt
1 tbs. of olive oil
juice of half a lime
salt and pepper
7 tbs. of olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbs. of cajun seasoning 2 15.5-oz. cans of black beans, drained and quickly rinsed
2 tbs. of chopped cilantro
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
1/2 tsp. of ground cumin
1/2 tsp. of ground coriander
2 tsp. of Chipotle Tabasco
Mix together the pineapple, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add the greek yogurt, avocado, olive oil and lime to a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to serve.
Heat a large pan over hight heat and add the 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Next add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Set aside while you make the filling for the cakes.
Throw the beans into the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, like chunky refried beans. Pour out into a bowl and mix with the onion, chopped cilantro, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and chipotle sauce. Stir to combine and then scoop out into 1/4 c. portions.
Heat a skillet on high and add the remaining 6 tbs. of olive oil. In a small bowl, mix the flour and cajun seasoning. Flour the patties on all sides ad add to the hot pan. Cook the cakes for about 3 minutes a side or until golden, using an offset spatula to carefully flip them. Serve with the pineapple salsa and avocado crema.