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Black Bean Cakes with Cuban Pulled Pork, Swiss Cheese, and Pickled Cucumber

January 14, 2013

JANUARY 12th, 2013 — This was the entrée of the “cake-themed” dinner I prepared for friends. How I came up with this idea: I knew I wanted to use black beans in the cake foundation, so I decided to turn to some Latin flavors for a complementing topper. I looked no further than the Cuban sandwich, a hot & melty sandwich of ham, pulled pork, pickles, and swiss cheese on a hard roll.

Cuban Black Bean Cake

Photography credit to Zoe Sandoval

So what did you do?
As I was prepping the other dishes, I realized I hadn’t bought pickles at the store, so I decided to make some quick pickles.
I first brought ~1 cup distilled vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp honey to a simmer in a saucepan. Once the honey and salt were well dissolved, I let the mixture cool, and then poured it into a jar of thinly sliced cucumber coins, and refrigerated it for at least 1 hour.

For the black bean cakes, I drained two 15 oz. cans of black beans and placed them in a large mixing bowl with:
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp garlic salt
-ground black pepper, to taste
-2 crumbled slices of whole-wheat toast (use your hands)
-1 beaten egg

I started mixing this with a pastry blender, deliberately trying to mash the beans. A potato masher would be ideal, because it’s stronger. There came a point where I got in there with my hands.

In a skillet with some olive oil on medium-high heat, I dropped in the patties molded by hand.

Assemblage occurs while in the pan. When one side was done, I flipped over the cake, then stacked
-pulled pork carnitas (from Trader Joe’s–yeah, I cheated)
-1 or 2 pickled cucumber slices
-square of sliced light swiss cheese

I added another dash of ground black pepper, and then covered the pan with a plate. This insulation melts the cheese on top.

Some of the cakes had a splash of Tapatio hot sauce on top, which I would recommend

Lessons learned?
I kinda wish I had added in some fresh herbs (cilantro would have been good) and maybe some diced onions for a stouter flavor complex.

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