Crisp patties of mildly seasoned black beans, crunchy on the outside, smooth and soft on the inside. These are quick and easy to prepare and make an extraordinarily appetizing first course or side dish. Unlike some recipes for fried bean cakes that tend to fall apart when cooked, these hold their shape well because of the cooked cornmeal, or polenta, used to bind them.
*NOTE: see the recipe for Basic Black Beans or use your own recipe. I have not yet tried canned black beans with this, but I believe that, drained, they would work just as well.
Heat the water over medium-high heat in a small sauce pan until boiling. Slowly stir in the cornmeal and salt in a slow steady stream, so as to avoid lumps. Heat, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes, or until the cornmeal has cooked through and forms a solid mass away from the sides of the pan.
In a food processor, add the beans, cooked cornmeal, jalapeños, garlic, and cumin. Process just until a roughly chopped paste is formed.
Place a sheet of waxed paper on your work surface. Spoon the bean mixture out into about 10 portions. Place another sheet of waxed paper on top and flatten the bean portions into 1/2-inch thick patties, smoothing the sides by hand, if necessary.
Heat 2 tablespoons corn oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place 5 bean patties about 2-inches apart onto the hot oil. Cook 3 minutes on one side, or until crisp and crusty. Flip the patties over and cook the other side until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Continue with the remaining batch of patties, adding more oil if necessary.
Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and Pico de Gallo or other fresh salsa.
©1996, Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
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