So, C and I trade Sunday night dinners with our friends and tonight was dinner at our place. Unfortunately, I was feeling less than inspired because I wore the chef in me out yesterday. That was when I made spaghetti squash gratin with a gigantic squash C surprised me with from the farmers' market, and homemade naan (yum). So, what do you do when it is 6:15, you don't want to trek to the store, and your hungry friends are showing up in an hour? Call your mom for a chat/ideas while raiding the cupboards and the crisper, obviously!
I ended up concocting a hearty soup of onions, garlic, thyme, carrots, red potatoes, chickpeas, and beet greens. I also turned a pile of dried black-eyed peas into patty cakes as an accompaniment to the soup. I first experimented with the black-eyed pea cakes last week and wanted to remake them in order to make some changes. The idea for the cakes comes from this blog, but I decided to add an Indian Curry spice mix I found at Whole Foods to the beans and go for a spicier, Indian-style cake. As a vegetarian, I eat beans of all types with every meal so I am always looking for new ways to serve them. These cakes are made super quickly and even your meat loving friends from Iowa will love them!
If you are looking for a source of dried beans, check out Rancho Gordo. YOU can pick up some of the heirloom beans in person because Steve Sando, the owner of Rancho Gordo, has a stand at the San Francisco Ferry Building's Farmers' Market. I however, mail order various types of his beans (Rancho Gordo's customer service is phenomenal), and love the delicious taste and texture--very different from any other beans I've ever had. Heirloom beans are worth seeking out because their taste makes any dish pop. In addition, many of Rancho Gordo's beans look gorgeous and visually brighten up salads or soups.
Hope you had a great week, and I can't wait to see what ingredient you've chosen!
Black Eyed Pea Patty Cakes
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed, soaked, and boiled until soft (you can also use a 15.8 ounce can of black eyed peas)
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs or toasted wheat germ (I used the latter and loved it)
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Indian Curry spice mix (taste and add more if needed)
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Mix all ingredients besides olive oil together in a large bowl.
2. Heat a large skillet and add olive oil.
3. Form mixture into small patty-shaped cakes, and place each cake in the frying pan. When the first side becomes golden, flip the cake. Remove from heat and add more patty cakes until all are cooked.
4. Serve with various toppings. Some ideas: sour cream, plain yogurt, Tzatziki sauce, Indian chutney, salsa, or ketchup.
*Note: You can't screw this recipe up. Feel free to add spices, and more garlic and onion. My measurements are just estimates because I usually throw more of everything depending on what is on the cutting board. The only element that matters is the texture of the bean mixture before you form it into cakes. If it is too dry, add more egg. If it is too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Basically, live it up with your patty cakes.