I don’t know what my problem is. Serious writers block it seems, which is annoying, since I have all sorts of things to discuss with you. Like this dinner I had TWO WEEKS AGO. I am not sure why this title is what it is, like it’s a big deal or something. I actually eat vegetarian a lot. I eat plenty of pasta that does not contain meat or meat related items, but for some reason, pasta doesn’t make me think vegetarian at all, it’s only when I make a somewhat deliberate decision to put together a complete meal that does not contain some kind of meat that I consider myself eating vegetarian. And I am not going to lie, at one point, I thought about adding bacon or chicken stock to this, and then I realized that I was actually trying to make a vegetarian meal, and so I didn’t add them.
I really like black beans. I think they are really delicious. Right now I will go ahead and say they are my favorite kind of bean, but I am pretty sure I will remember at some point that this is not true, and I will have lied to you all, but right now, I am going to say they are my favorite. I just used canned beans that I drained and cooked with onions and garlic, and then I did a quick corn pancake that came together in about five minutes, and dinner was a snap. I topped it with avocado, a little bit of sour cream, cotija cheese and some pickled red onion and it was pretty awesome. I didn’t miss meat at all.
And now, because I have writer’s block and nothing exciting to say, I will get right to the recipes. Enjoy this on your next foray into the world of the meatless. And the leftovers are great with, for instance, a poached egg…
Corn Cakes with Black Beans and Accoutrements (serves 4)
For the corn cakes:
adapted from Epicurious.com
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
scant 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tbl unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional melted butter for brushing the griddle
1/2 large egg (so I halved the original recipe, I scrambled the egg and then just added about half of it to the batter)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup thawed frozen corn, chopped coarse
2 tbl finely chopped onion
In a bowl whisk together the cornmeal, the flour, the salt, the baking soda, the pepper, and the sugar. In another bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of the butter, the egg, and the buttermilk, stir in the corn onion, and stir in the cornmeal mixture, stirring until the batter is just combined. Heat a griddle over moderately high heat until it is hot, brush it lightly with the additional butter, and working in batches drop the batter by a 1/2-cup measure onto the griddle. Cook the cakes for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden, transferring them as they are cooked to a heatproof platter, and keep them warm.
For the black beans:
1-2 tbl cooking oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 small lime
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, add the beans and cook until heated through. Turn off heat, squeeze half a lime over the beans, and cover to keep warm until needed.
Cotija cheese (or Monterey Jack or Cheddar)
Pickled red onion
Place a corn cake on each plate, and spoon black beans over. Add cheese and other accoutrements as desired. Easy!