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All right, I know, enough with the black beans already!  The posting of this recipe, as well as my Black Bean and Wheat Berry Chili with Turkey Sausage, comes from the fact that I made black beans just a few days ago, and therefore wanted to show a few ways in which I use them.

I work very hard to be economical in my kitchen, I don’t buy or make things that I don’t have some sort of plan for because I absolutely hate to waste food.  Learning how to maximize your ingredients and to reduce the amount of waste in your kitchen, is not always a simple as it might sound, but it is, in my opinion, a very important skill to attempt to master.  Such an endeavor requires creativity in cooking and the willingness to experiment.

These cakes turned out to be a delightful endeavor undertaken thanks to a new cookbook I picked up at a farmers market last weekend, Cooking Close to Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes by Diane Imrie and Richard Jarmusz.  While I think that the pumpkin flavor in these cakes was lacking, there was certainly no lack of flavor.  Between the ginger, herbs, cayenne pepper and fresh lime juice, never mind the black beans, these cakes were packed with a delightful combination of flavors, perfectly complemented by this delicious horseradish sauce.  Nevertheless, I think next time I might try experimenting with a little pumpkin puree as well, in hopes of dialing up that flavor element.

Pumpkin – Black Bean Cakes

Adapted from Cooking Close to Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes
 
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup fresh pumpkin, peeled and coarsely grated
1 egg 
1 to 2 green onions (about 2 Tablespoons), chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs 
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
1 Tablespoons fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, sliced
juice of one lime
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
olive oil for cooking
 
  1. Combine everything but oil in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until throughly combined.
  2. Using your hands, form the mixture into 8 equal cakes.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, heat enough oil to fully cover the bottom of the pan, over medium heat, until it shimmers.
  4. Place 4 cakes in the pan and cook over medium heat until the outside is crisp, about 5 minutes a side, flipping only once if possible.  Repeat for the second batch.  Serve warm, topped with Creamy Horseradish Sauce (recipe follows).

Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Close to Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes
 
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon Horseradish 
2 cloves garlic, chopped
 
  1. Mix all ingredients together until throughly combined.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

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