Monday, November 9, 2009

Rice and Beans with a Twist

I can't take credit for tonight's dinner theme. One of my husband's (his name is Mark, by the way) favorite home cooked meals is black bean cakes and rice. He would eat rice and beans in any way, shape, or form, I'm pretty sure, but the cakes are a nice change of pace. Anyway, he suggested these pretty early on in the day and luckily I had just about all the ingredients on hand at home. Mark wasn't too upset about needing to run out to the store and grab a tomato and some cilantro, though! I served the cakes over chopped romaine for some crunchy freshness and I mixed up a quick pico de gallo with a tomato, half an onion, and some cilantro. I like to set out all the fixings for the bean cakes and rice and let everyone put their own plate together. Besides the salad and pico, I pulled out a few different kinds of salsas and hot sauces to top the meal with. This is a hearty meal that's full of protein and fiber. The recipe below serves two.

Black Bean Cakes and Spanish Rice
-1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
-half a red bell pepper, minced
-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-3 scallions, minced
-1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
-1/4 cup bread crumbs
-1 tbsp chili powder
-1 tbsp cumin
-salt and pepper
-2 tbsp of your favorite salsa
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-3 tbsp cornmeal
-2 servings of cooked Spanish rice (I used the Near East brand, but if you feel so inclined and have a bit of extra time, go ahead and make your own!)

-Mash about 3/4 of the beans in a shallow bowl. Leave some beans whole for texture.
-Add the peppers, garlic, scallions, and cilantro to the mashed beans. Mix well.
-Add the bread crumbs, chili powder, cumin, and salsa. Mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-Form the bean mixture into 6 cakes that are about 3/4" thick. Place the cakes on a tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes. This will allow them to firm up a bit and make them easier to handle.
-Remove the cakes from the refrigerator and heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Put the cornmeal in a shallow bowl. Dredge the cakes in the cornmeal, shaking off any excess, then place them in the hot skillet.
-Cook the cakes about 4 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy on the outside and heated through.
-Remove the cakes from the heat. Serve them with Spanish rice any fixings and toppings you like. A salad, pico de gallo, salsa, hot sauce, or guacamole would all be great options.

1 comment:

  1. These sound delicious! I love the Near East rices!