I had one of my most memorable meals at Del Inti here in Portland, for Adam’s and my 6th anniversary. We shared a huge grilled chop, topped with apricot reduction, and sides of black bean cakes, grilled summer squash, potato gratin, and ceviche. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and last night I thought I’d try to recreate it. I chose the black bean cake recipe from emeril.com, and they were fantastic! I used egg replacer and sorghum flour to make them work for us.
Emeril says, “Talk about “knock your socks off”! These bean cakes end up crispy and crusty on the outside, but oh so tender and creamy on the inside. A true study in contrasts, this dish is elevated to notches unknown when served garnished with your favorite guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.”
7 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion (5 to 6 ounces), cut into small dice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Emeril’s Original Essence or Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning
Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and quickly rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and cook until soft and lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate, and stir in the Essence. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, mash the black beans well with the back of a fork — the mixture should be relatively smooth, with no whole beans remaining. Stir in the cooled onion mixture, cilantro, egg, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and hot sauce and mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 evenly sized patties (about 1/3 cup each).
Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, dust the patties in the seasoned flour mixture and carefully transfer them to the hot skillet (the cakes will be delicate). Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides and heated through, about 2 minutes per side.
If necessary, season with more salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings