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Spicy Corn Cakes with Black Beans

For even more flavor, top corn cakes with sour cream, purchased or homemade salsa and chopped fresh cilantro. To make a quick homemade salsa, combine 1 tomato, seeded and chopped; 1/2 onion, chopped; 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro; and fresh lime juice to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2/3 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 tsp. canola oil

Directions:

Prepare the beans
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the beans, oregano and 1 tsp. of the chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are heated through. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside.

Make the batter
In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, remaining 1 tsp. chili powder, salt and pepper.

In another bowl, whisk together the butter, buttermilk and egg until well combined. Mix the liquid ingredients quickly into the dry ingredients until just blended, leaving small lumps. Fold in the corn.

Make the pancakes
Heat a large cast-iron fry pan over medium-high heat. Brush it with 1 tsp. of the oil. Working in batches, add the batter, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook the pancakes until they are browned and puffy, about 4 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Stir the batter and wipe the pan with oil between batches. Divide the pancakes among 4 plates. Spoon the beans over the cakes and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).