Thursday, August 9, 2012

White Bean Cakes with Avocado Sauce

Y'all, we're less than a month away from football season. I know a lot of y'all aren't ready for summer to end, but lucky for me it doesn't really end until...mid-October? That's when the weather starts acting crazy. Hot one minute, cold the next. At any rate, it's the time of year now when my blood starts to rush and I savor those last ears of summer corn.

You've probably had a black bean burger at some point in your life. Well I didn't have black beans. I had white beans and some leftover corn. And I don't suppose I can really call this a burger because there's no bun. As much as I love breads I don't miss the bun in this because I think it would just get in the way. You might have the ingredients for these white bean cakes already. You need: white beans, bread crumbs, thyme, corn, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and an egg white.

Start by giving your beans a good mash. My weapon of choice was a potato masher, but you could probably do this all in a food processor.

You want to end up with a bean paste. Ew. It tastes better than it sounds.

Now add all your chopped vegetables/herbs and season with salt and pepper. I left my vegetables in a rough dice for some textural contrast, but you can chop them finer, especially if you're trying to hide them from wee ones.

Give it a stir and add your egg white. Honestly, in normal circumstances I would've just used a whole egg, but I had this egg white left over from making the peach cobbler. It saves on a little fat I suppose and binds together nicely even without the yolk.

Sprinkle in your breadcrumbs and stir until your bean mixture feels like it'll hold together.

Refrigerate about 30 minutes, just to firm everything up and give the ingredients a chance to get to know each other.

Shape the mixture into 3-inch patties about 1/4" thick. I refrigerated them again until I was ready to eat. You can also freeze them at this point if you know you won't eat them all.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the white bean cakes a few at a time, cooking about 5-7 minutes on each side. One day I'm going to cook in a kitchen that has excellent lighting around the stove. One day.

You want a nice browning on each side.

This needs a sauce, right? Right. I made a simple one from an avocado, lime, and Fage Greek yogurt. Fage is my fave.

I think scoring the avocado makes it easier to get the flesh out.

A food processor is preferable to a blender, but we do with what we have. Avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice, and a generous pinch of salt get whipped into a luscious, creamy sauce. If you want to thin it out a little, just add a tablespoon or two of water.

Perch two warm cakes atop a bed of arugula and dollop with the avocado sauce. The sauce gives it a creamy tang to balance the sweet corn and slight bite of the onion. It makes a satisfying lunch or a light dinner with a glass of white wine.

White Bean Cakes with Avocado Sauce (makes 6-8 patties and 1 cup of sauce)

1 (15.5 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 c diced onion
1 c fresh corn (about 1 1/2 ears)
1/2 c red bell pepper
1/2 tbs thyme, roughly chopped
2 tsp garlic, finely diced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 egg white
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 tbs olive oil

1 avocado, pitted and flesh scooped out
Juice of 1 lime
6 oz Greek yogurt
Generous pinch of salt

  • For cakes: Pour the rinsed beans in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until beans resemble a paste. Add the onion, corn, bell pepper, thyme, and garlic and stir to combine. Add the egg white and stir it in. Sprinkle in bread crumbs and stir until mixture starts to hold together. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • Shape refrigerated mixture into 2.5-3" patties. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a few patties at a time and cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until browned and warmed through.
  • For sauce: combine the avocado, lime, yogurt, and salt in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Give it a taste to check the seasoning. If it needs thinning, add a tablespoon or two of water.
  • Serve cakes warm over a bed of arugula with a dollop of avocado sauce.

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