Wednesday, September 12, 2012

spicy black-bean cakes


For some reason whenever I eat out somewhere that serves black bean cakes I have to try them. They have become one of my favorite things to test because there are so many variations. I have to say my favorite version of black bean cakes has been at the Flying Biscuit for years and I don't anticipate anyone topping theirs.

One of the reason I love to cook black bean cakes is because they are simple, healthy and inexpensive. I pretty much throw whatever I have in them and, depending on how hands on I feel, I pan sear or bake them. You really cant go wrong as long as they stay in cake form. I have tried many different things to try and "bind" them (ground flax,  chia seed, the list goes on) but eggs have always worked best for me. 


This version of black bean cakes is super simple and uses sweet potato which we always have on hand. I alter the amount of sweet potato vs black beans based on what I have more of and it always works out fine.


Spicy Black-Bean Cakes
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed*
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated (2 cups)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 lime, juiced and zest
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)


* cook your beans from scratch!



  1. Heat broiler. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook scallions until softened, 1 minute. Add garlic, jalapeno and cumin; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add beans to bowl; mash with a fork or a potato masher, leaving about 1/4 of the beans whole. Season generously with salt and pepper. Fold in sweet potato, egg, and breadcrumbs. Divide into 8 balls of equal size; flatten into patties.
  3. Brush a baking sheet with remaining tablespoon oil; place patties on sheet, 1/2 inch apart. Broil 4 inches from heat until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully turn cakes. Broil until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes more. 
  4. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the greek yogurt, lime juice and zest, jalapeno and season with coarse salt.

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