The culinary adventures of a 20-something woman navigating the wonderful world of food!

The culinary adventures of a 20-something year old woman navigating the wonderful world of food!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Black Bean & Rice Cakes

              Lately I have become obsessed with black beans. And I don't mean "I enjoy them" obsessed, I mean "I make them for every meal" obsessed. I am always trying to find ways to incorporate black beans into a recipe. You might have noticed this with the Mango & Black Bean Salad, or Black Bean & Avocado brownies...and if you didn't, well I'm admitting it now.
             Every few months I receive Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine in the mail. I know the exact date it will arrive, and I wake up in the morning giddy with excitement at the thought of the run to the mailbox. I have no time for neighbourly chit-chat on these days - I wait until no one is in sight, and dash across the lawn to the mailbox, grabbing the magazine and running back inside to read it. I call these days "Martha Mondays" and I must say, it makes every 8th Monday worth experiencing.
                On page 110 of the latest issue, my love affair for both Martha AND black beans grew just a little bit - she had a recipe for black-bean & rice cakes - perfect to use for vegetarian burgers. And, even better - I had ALL of the ingredients on hand!  Paired with my mango & black bean salad, I knew before even making it that we had a winner on our way.
                The only thing I was nervous about was the darling husbands' reaction. He really, really likes your typical man-burger: greasy & cheesy, with ketchup & mayo. What would he think of these veg burgers? Would he refuse to let me experiment with black beans ever again?
                 The most amazing thing happened. He LOVED them. Praised them the entire meal, then went back for seconds. Asked if they were vegetarian, and got EXCITED that they were! When I told him how many calories per burger (about 1/2 of a beef burger) I thought he was going to leap for joy.
                 I made the recipe exactly as written. My only complaint would be that they were slightly messy - next time I will try adding some egg whites to hold them together.

2 (19 ounce) cans black beans, drained & rinsed well
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
2-3 green onions, chopped 
1 small jalapeno, seeded & chopped 
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 400F. 
2. In a food processor, pulse 1/2 the beans with the green onion, jalapeno, cumin and 1 tbsp cilantro until a paste forms (about 2 minutes).
3. In a large bowl, combine bean puree with rice & remaining beans (this is where I would add 1 tbsp egg white).
4. Divide mixture into eight patties. You could place in fridge at this point to firm.
5. Brush a large baking sheet with the oil; place patties on sheet. Bake in oven for 8 minutes, then rotate and bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Let rest on sheet for a few minutes before removing.
6. Meanwhile, combine yoghurt, cilantro & lime juice, season with salt & pepper. Serve patties topped with yoghurt sauce.

Source: Martha Stewart Every Day Living, spring 2010.

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