Cooking For Others: Missing Menus
DISH: Black Bean Cakes
EVENT: Caitlyn’s Birthday
Appetizer / Black Bean Cakes
Main Course / Carne Asada or Baja Fish Tacos or Chipotle Vegetarian Chili or Mexican Shepherd’s Pie
Salad / Spinach Salad with Corn, Avocado, and Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette
Dessert / Cinnamon-Mocha Dulce de Leche Bites
These particular Bean Cakes, I’ve served several times as part of a cocktail party buffet. The last time, when this photo was taken, was for Caitlyn’s birthday where they stood alongside Curried Sweet Potato Quesadillas, and Siracha-Lime Chicken Sliders. It was a fabulous night of friends and food, but it was also over three months ago. For whatever reason, I never got around to writing about the party as a whole, even though I’m sure I could have found plenty of antics to flesh out a post. As it has for many a BGSK event, the moment to celebrate Caitlyn’s on the blog has definitely lapsed.
So here we are, with a recipe for some delicious Latin birthday bites, but without a context at the table. To offer one for these cakes, and a proper suggestion for all eager start-to-finish meal-makers like Jenny, see our menu suggestions above. These cakes are great as cocktail fare, if you, too, are missing a context, but they also make a great appetizer for a Mexican or Southwestern themed dinner. For this, a great main course would be Carne Asada, Chipotle Vegetarian Chili , or Baja Fish Tacos, where you can use the crema on both elements! Alongside, a simple salad with Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette; for dessert, some crunchy, candy-loaded cookies, and you’ve got a meal.
Please look for these menu pairings in posts to come, as we formulate ways for you to enjoy our menu-less dishes as one aspect of a delicious and complete meal.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
p.s. We love love love your comments and suggestions! Please continue to contact us at biggirlssmallkitchen[at]gmail[dot]com or drop us a line in the comment section of the blog.
Black Bean Cakes with Mango-Lime Crema
Makes about 20 cakes
These cakes are very versatile. They can be pan-fried or baked, depending on the texture you prefer. If you don’t want to take the time to make the crema, you can easily serve these with a dollop of Plain Jane sour cream.
For the cakes:
2 15oz cans black beans
2 garlic cloves
½ lime, juiced
1 tbsp sour cream
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
For the crema:
3/4 cup sour cream
½ mango, finely diced
1 tbsp shallot, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
In a food processor, blend the garlic, 1 can of beans, lime juice, and sour cream until moderately smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients. Mix until properly combined.
With clean hands, form the bean mixture into 1 inch balls and set aside on a plate. Chill the balls for twenty minutes or so.
NOTE: everything up to this point can be prepared the night before.
Heat a skillet over a medium-high flame, adding a healthy layer of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the bean cakes have cooled, remove from the refrigerator. Pan-fry the bean cakes, making sure to press each down into a round patty as you add them to the pan. Cook until dark brown and crispy on both sides. Reserve on a paper towel until cool enough to handle.
Alternatively, you can bake the cakes on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until they have crisped up (the outside will resemble falafel).
Arrange cakes on a platter, and serve room temperature with a dollop of mango-lime crema on top and some torn cilantro leaves for garnish.