Barrett’s Black Bean Cakes

The Chef sent me this recipe months ago, and it stalled out in my Inbox because black beans – or beans of any kind, really – often bore the crap out of me.

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But the more I started looking at it, the more intrigued I became. The Mexican seasonings, the chorizo, and the suggestion that you serve it alongside quail – arguably the most adorable and delectable of tiny game birds – finally changed my mind.

The Chef also mentioned this is one of his favorite recipes from the CIA Cookbook, and whether that means “Central Intelligence Agency” or “Culinary Institute of America” to you, it’s pretty badass either way.

1 lb dried black beans
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chorizo sausage
2/3 cup yellow onion, diced medium
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cornmeal

  1. Soak bean overnight in enough cold water to cover them by 3 inches.
  2. Drain beans, place in a pot, and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.
  3. Cook the chorizo over medium heat in a saute pan until the fat is rendered and the chorizo is slightly crispy.  Add onions, garlic and jalapeno, and saute until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.
  5. Combine beans, chorizo mixture, egg, cilantro, lime juice and salt.  Mix well, mashing some of the beans to help keep the cake together.
  6. Form the mixture into 16 cakes, about 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Dust the cakes lightly with cornmeal.
  7. Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat. Cook the cakes until heat through, about 4 to 6 minutes.  The Chef says you’re gonna have to work in batches here, so be prepared to move quickly.

Serve these immediately (because these suckers are best hot), preferably with grilled quail and Coffee BBQ Sauce.

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Mexican food, Side dishes

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