Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spicy Corn Cakes with Black Beans

I'm trying to experiment with more vegetarian entrees that are something other than pasta, soup, or salad. It's surprisingly difficult to find enticing recipes that meet those criteria. Well now I have found one, and I highly recommend it. If you like cornbread, pancakes, and Mexican food, here's a way of combining all three of those things without making yourself ill.

I highly recommend you top this recipe off with some fresh salsa, whether home made or otherwise. We didn't have any on hand, and I didn't realize the dish needed it until we were already sitting at the table to eat. The corn cakes are delicious, the black beans are tasty, and they go well together - but you need some extra moisture and spiciness. Salsa would be the perfect addition - especially a nice pico de gallo.

Spicy Corn Cakes with Black Beans
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Vegetarian
serves 2 (with lots of beans leftover for later)


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
canola oil cooking spray


1. Make the beans: Combine beans, oregano, and 1 teaspoon chili powder in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

2. Mix the dry ingredients: whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.

3. Mix the wet ingredients: in a separate bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk, and egg until well combined.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing just until blended, leaving small lumps. Fold in the corn.

5. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, coated in canola oil cooking spray. Add the batter, 1/4 cup at a time. You may have to work in batches, depending on the size of your skillet (if so, spray pan with oil again before each batch). Cook pancakes until they are browned and puffy, about 4 minutes, turning once. Divide among plates, top with beans (and salsa!) and serve.

This is a surprisingly hearty and satisfying meal. Save the leftover beans for a yummy dip, salad, or burrito the next day. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. That looks amazing, I am definitely going to try that.