Santa Fe Black Bean Cake
These crisp black bean cakes with their smoky taste and chili pepper heat make a wonderful appetizer or side dish. You can adjust the size and make them smaller if you wish. If you use dried black beans, soak them overnight in water to cover, then drain before using.
- Olive Oil - 2 ounces
- Onion - 1 small, coarsely chopped
- Bacon - 2 slices (alt. pancetta)
- Black Turtle Beans - 1 pound, fresh, cleaned and rinsed
- Chicken Stock - 1 quart (alt. duck stock)
- Serrano Chilies - 2, seeded and minced
- Ancho Chili Powder - 2 tablespoons
- Cumin - 1 tablespoon
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Salsa - 2 tablespoons
- Cilantro - 6 leaves, stemmed and chopped
Using a heavy-bottomed pot, heat half of the olive oil. Add the onions and bacon and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and stock enough to cover. Season with salt and simmer until tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain well. Put the beans, onion, and bacon through a meat grinder or food mill to make a paste. Season with Serrano chili, Ancho chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Take enough paste to roll into a ball the size of a golf ball between your palms. Flatten the balls between sheets of waxed paper to make a 1/4-inch cake. Heat a seasoned non-stick saute pan or skillet over high heat and add the remaining olive oil. Sear the cakes for about 1 minute per side; the cakes will be crisp on the outside.
To serve: Arrange the cakes on a warmed platter around a cup or small bowl of sour cream. Spoon salsa over the sour cream. Sprinkle cilantro over the platter.