I love cooking with black beans, particularly the variety Midnight Black Turtle Soup, grown by Horsepower Farm in Penobscot. The black bean is a native of South America, and is used in a wide variety of cuisines. In Cuba, Puerto Rico and Spain, the black turtle is traditionally made into a soup. In Mexico, the black bean is a staple, combined with rice or meat, rolled into tortillas, refried, even made into brownies.
The recipe for Black Bean Cakes is from my archives. Traditional black bean cakes are dredged in flour and fried in lard or bacon fat; crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. While this is a tasty preparation, the frying process adds calories from fat, and makes a mess in the kitchen!
By adding the flour to the batter and liberally greasing a muffin tin, instead of frying, I was able to bake the cakes in a hot oven. With the help of a food processor, this recipe is quick and easy to prepare. Taco seasoning can be purchased at the supermarket…but why not make your own? It’s fresher, more economical, and without any hidden additives or chemicals.
Tasty, fresh, economical, local Maine food….sounds wicked good to me!
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 4 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons Sea salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- Whisk ingredients together. Store in a glass jar or tin. Makes about 1/3 cup seasoning.
BLACK BEAN CAKES
- 1 tablespoon fat of your choice (bacon fat butter, olive oil)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 3 ounce cups cooked black beans (about 2 – 15cans drained & rinsed)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup salsa
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 – 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8-cup muffin tin.
- In a fry pan, heat the fat and cook the onions until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat.
- In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the black beans. Add the egg, salsa, onions and garlic. Add the flour and taco seasoning. Pulse to mix well, but do not make into a puree.
- Divide mixture evenly between muffin cups. Bake in 400-degree oven until set, the top will turn a deep brown. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting. Makes eight black bean cakes.