A new cookbook has emerged in my kitchen – Everyday Food: Great Food Fast (from the Martha Stewart Kitchens). I know I’ve raved about it a past post so I’ll save my breath this time but I have to rave about the Spicy Black Bean Cakes that came out of this cookbook.

Oh. My. Goodness. SO GOOD!! I’m not known to be a “spicy kind of girl” and I’ve NEVER made anything with fresh spicy chilis but I’ve watched enough FoodNetwork to know that you can dramatically reduce the heat of a chili pepper by removing the seeds and pulp (carefully of course, avoiding direct contact with the seeds – which is where the heat of the chili lies – and avoiding touching my eyes before thoroughly washing my hands). So that’s what I did. I wanted the flavor of the jalepeno chili sans heat.
The premise of the cookbook is that you can really make great food in a decent amount of time (usually under 30 minutes) and the recipe states that it should take 20 min to prep the cakes. It took me about 25-30, mostly because of the time it took to remove the seeds and pulp from the jalepeno. The extra time was well worth it though and I am so pleased with the result – and I will definitely be making these again. I paired them with my garlic-cilantro-lime marinated grilled chicken and about 1/2 lb shrimp that “got happy” all day in the same marinade (separate bags though), and the suggested lime sour cream that the cookbook suggested to serve with the cakes. YUM!!
I’ve had some trouble finding the recipe on Martha’s website so below is the recipe directly from the cookbook.
Spicy Black Bean Cakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I only used one and sprayed the cookie sheet with Pam)
  • 4 scallions, thinly cut
  • 1 small jalepeno chili, finely minced (I used 3/4 of the jalepeno)
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1 can)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to Broil and adjust rack to between 4 and 6 inches from the broiler.

In a medium frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Cook scallions for 2 minutes, add garlic, jalepeno, and cumin; cook for 30 seconds until fragrent; remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. To the hot mixture, add black beans. Mash beans into hot mixture, leaving about 1/4 of the beans whole; season generously with salt and pepper. Fold in sweet potato, egg, and bread crumbs and work the mixture until everything is well-incorporated.

Coat a cookie sheet with remaining olive oil (again, I sprayed it with Pam instead of using the olive oil). Scoop a handleful of the mixture out and pat into a small patty, about the size and shapes of a crab cake. The mixture will make 8 cakes. Place the cakes on the sheet; broil for 10 minutes. Carefully turn cakes over and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 12-13 minutes

Serves: 2-4

Lime Sour Cream

  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 4 tsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 jalepeno, finely minced (I subbed this out for a handful of chopped fresh cilantro)

Combine ingredients and serve with cakes.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

Garlic-Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken and Shrimp

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh works best for this dish)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 limes
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

Separate marinade ingredients in half (except for the limes – 2 for the chicken, 1 for the shrimp). In 2 Ziploc bags, add all marinade ingredients, and squeeze around in the bags to combine them well. Squeeze in lime juice (again, 2 limes for chicken and 1 for shrimp). Add chicken and shrimp to their respective bags and squeeze all the air out of the bags before closing. Work the marinade around the chicken and shrimp. Refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours (or even overnight).

Grill chicken for 10-12 minutes, flipping once after 8 minutes. Add shrimp to grill (metal or wooden skewers work great) during the last 2 minutes of cooking the chicken. Turn shrimp once. Serve with black bean cakes.

Active prep time: 10 minutes

Inactive prep time: 8-10 hours

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Serves: 2

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Leave a Comment

  • Cara
    August 18, 2007 at 6:07 PM

    Sweet potato, black beans, and shrimp? This meal is right up my ally, it looks delicious!

  • Deborah Dowd
    August 21, 2007 at 2:27 AM

    These sound really great! No wonder you are raving about them, I can’t wait to give them a try!

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