These Black Bean and Rice Cakes are a vegetarian delight loaded with healthy protein. The recipe started out as a search for a rice and beans dish that would keep me full, but now I eat it just because it tastes good.
Finely chop 1/4 onion, 1/2 jalapeño, and 3 cloves of garlic. Sauté the onion and jalapeño in a dollop of oil over medium for a few minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook briefly, 30-60 seconds.
Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Add to the pan along with 2 minced chipotles in adodo, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a splash of water. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add bean mixture to a mixing bowl and use a fork to smoosh the beans, leaving some of the beans intact.
Add 1 cup cooked rice to the mixture. I used 1 cup of our Arroz Rojo, but even a simple, cooked white rice is adequate. Combine well and if you have time, chill this mixture.
Add 1/2 cup of cornmeal to a plate. Form golf-ball sized rounds with the bean mixture and roll them in the cornmeal to coat. This batch made 8 cakes.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to a wide skillet on medium heat. Heat oil until shimmering and then add the cornmeal coated cakes. Sauté them for 3-5 minutes per side or until the cornmeal turns golden brown. You can flatten them a bit in the skillet if you want to. Serve immediately after cooking.
To make the Chipotle Crema, add the following ingredients to a blender and combine well: 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon cream or mayonnaise, 1 chipotle in adobo, 1 garlic clove, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lime.
I've had the best success cooking these when the bean mixture has cooled down a bit. You can still cook them if the bean mixture is warm, just be aware that they might crumble a bit in the skillet.