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Crispy Black Bean Cakes | Food & Wine | April 2008

The April 2008 Food & Wine magazine had an article titled "Canned Bean Cuisine" by Melissa Rubel. Rubel creates seven easy dishes using canned beans. The Crispy Black Bean Cakes with Sour Cream and Avocado sounded perfect for our (traditionally vegetarian) Purim dinner.

The recipe came together easily and quickly and the directions were simple to follow. I actually prepared the black bean cakes exactly according to the directions (!), only substituting guacamole for sliced avocados as the accompaniment, just because I had it on hand. I thought they were yummy and the description below is exactly true - crispy on the outside and creamy in the center. Super yummy and really an inexpensive and hearty meal. I served the black bean cakes with mixed spring greens tossed with a little balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and a little crumbled goat cheese. The entire recipe and salad were prepared using organic ingredients. Two thumbs up!

CRISPY BLACK BEAN CAKES WITH SOUR CREAM AND AVOCADO
Food & Wine Magazine | April 2008

TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN 
SERVES: 4 

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.

Crispy Black Bean Cakes with Sour Cream and Avocado | Food & Wine Magazine | April 2008