Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I am a practical person who has lived on a budget all of his life. Aside from the dining room table I bought for my 30th birthday, I tend to shy away from extravagant purchases or gigantic splurges.

Unless it comes to food.

Then I have no problem spending away. A $250 meal in Napa is completely's Michael Chiarello! $600 a month in groceries...I needed them.  Splurging on a whole salmon to make barbecue gravlax...?  Um, hello!  It was Tuesday...

So now I find myself soon to be without a regular paycheck.

But, mama still gotta eat good.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention (and Improvisation)!

Black Bean Cakes with Poached Egg and Avocado Cream

The egg makes for a delicious sauce. The avocado pushes it over the top!
This spicy little dish is perfect for brunch on a hot summer day and surprisingly easy to make! I'm sure you could be lah-dee-dah about it and soak your beans, but canned worked just fine.

Yields 6 cakes

2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pepadew peppers, minced
1 Chipotle pepper, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbl flour, plus 1/4 cup for dredging
2 Tbl cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
salt n' pepper

In a large bowl, mash up 2/3 of the beans using a potato masher.  Add remaining ingredients, including reserved beans, and stir to thoroughly combine ingredients. Roll up your sleeves, cuz it's gonna get messy.  Pat mixture into 6 cakes, approximately 3 inches in diameter.  Dredge each cake in flour.

Heat 2 Tbl olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook cakes for 7-10 minutes or until crisp enough to flip. Once flipped, cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Top each cake with Avocado Cream and a poached egg.

Avocado Cream

1 avocado
2 Tbl low fat Greek yogurt
Juice of one lime
pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt n' pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or food processor until smooth.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Hints on Perfectly Poached Eggs

* Make sure you use a large enough pot
* Add at least 3 Tbl white vinegar to simmering water
* Stir the water in one direction before adding the eggs.  The swirl will allow the eggs to fold back onto themselves creating the perfect little package.

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