Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweet Corn and Black Bean Cakes with Cilantro Almond Aioli

Whew, that is quite the title. Maybe Sweet Beans with Green, instead? Nah, I'll stick with what I've got.

I've been on a black bean kick lately. I like them mixed with a sweeter vegetable, such as sweet potato or golden corn. This dish would work even better in the summer when the corn is tall, but sometimes you just have to break away from the root vegetables when it is MARCH and STILL SNOWING. Ok, I'm done.

For a little info on soaking and cooking beans from dried, check out this post. The same basic method for cooking all beans applies, although the cooking time varies depending on the size.

I served these petite cakes as an appetizer with a dallop of aioli on top, but they could be the main show as well in a larger format with some rice and greens on the side. I like the idea of aioli, but don't appreciate the massive amounts of oil involved. This version uses soaked raw almonds that are creamed into a smooth base and spiked with a latino beat: cilantro, lime, garlic and cayenne. Once they have soaked, it easy to squeeze gently to pop off their skins. They look so funny lying there all naked!

The date adds a sweetness that balances the acidity of the lime and pungency of the garlic. I love using dates in raw concoctions because they bring loads of fiber, a modest dose of potassium and TONS of depth. I love the medjool variety which is often found in the produce section as they are moist, rich and malty.

Sweet Corn and Black Bean Cakes
Serves 6

1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ jalepeno, minced (or less, depending on heat of your particular pepper)
¼ red onion, chopped
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 /2 tsp cumin
2 cups black beans
½ cup cornmeal
1 cup corn
2 tsp. honey
Salt and black pepper to taste
Coconut oil for cooking

Place ground flax in a small bowl with 3 tbs water and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Place onion, garlic and jalapeƱo in the food processor and pulse to mince.  Add cilantro, cumin, cornmeal, honey and 1 cup of black beans. Process until fairly smooth and blended. Transfer to a large bowl and add flax mixture, corn and remaining cup of beans. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a medium cast-iron pan over medium heat with 1 tbs. of coconut oil. Shape patties with your hands and fry for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. These work well as mini cakes for a cute appetizer topped with Raw Almond Cilantro Aioli (recipe below). 

Can be made in advance and fried just before serving, or shaped and baked if serving more guests. 

Raw Almond Cilantro Aioli
Serves 8

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
1 medium garlic clove, minced
juice of ½ a lime
1 cup cilantro
1 medjool date, pitted
½ tsp. smoked sea salt
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup water
pinch of cayenne
paprika or sumac for garnish

Pinch soaked almonds to pop skins off.  Place skinned almonds with remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, adding water a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Serve on top of mini sweet corn and black bean cakes with paprika or sumac as a garnish for a darling appetizer. 

Relax. Eat Well.

1 comment:

  1. Actually I like all corn dishes.This will make my day. I am gonna make this today byself.
    -Food Processor