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Corn and Amaranth Griddlecakes with Spicy Black Beans

This hearty meatless main course is chock full of flavor and texture. The griddlecakes are crisp, tender, and slightly peppery from the amaranth flour, and the beans deliver a kick. Serve with sliced avocado and pico de gallo.

Yields about 8 griddlecakes and 2½ cups beans; serves 4

FOR THE BLACK BEANS

½ lb. dried black beans

1 Tbs. crumbled dried epazote, or 2 to 3 fresh epazote leaves

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled

Fine sea salt

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ to 1 Tbs. finely chopped chipotle chile (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)

½ Tbs. cumin seeds, toasted and ground



FOR THE GRIDDLECAKES

2¼ oz. (½ cup plus 2 Tbs.) amaranth flour

1 oz. (¼ cup) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

Fine sea salt

3 oz. (½ cup) medium-grind cornmeal

¼ cup pine nuts, roughly chopped

1½ oz. (3 Tbs.) unsalted butter

½ cup buttermilk

1 large egg

1 4-oz. can diced fire-roasted green chiles, drained

½ cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

½ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)

½ medium jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

Olive oil for the pan



MAKE THE BLACK BEANS

Rinse the beans and combine them in a 4-quart pot with the epazote (if using), garlic, and about 6 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce to the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour. (To cook the beans in a pressure cooker,) Add 1 tsp. salt and simmer gently for another 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and let them cool in their liquid. (You can prepare the beans up to 1 day ahead; refrigerate them in their liquid.)

Drain the cooked beans, reserving the liquid. Return the beans to the pot and add the cilantro, chipotle, cumin, and about 1 cup of the reserved bean liquid. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. The beans should be very moist; if necessary, add more bean liquid.



MAKE THE GRIDDLECAKES

In a large bowl, sift the amaranth flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ¾ tsp. salt. Whisk in the cornmeal and pine nuts.

Melt 2½ Tbs. of the butter. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Stir in the chiles.

Melt the remaining ½ Tbs. butter in a 10-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, scallions, jalapeno, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, until the corn shows a few light-brown spots, about 5 minutes. Stir the corn mixture into the wet ingredients. (You can prepare the griddlecakes to this point up to 4 hours ahead.)



When ready to cook the cakes, combine the wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Heat about 2 tsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick pan or on a griddle over medium-high heat. Drop ¼ cup of the batter at a time onto the hot pan and gently spread with the tip of a spoon to make 3-inch cakes. Cook the griddlecakes until tiny air bubbles begin to pop through the tops, 3 to 4 minutes; then flip them and cook until deep golden-brown and crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat until all of the batter is cooked.

Ladle the beans into shallow bowls and top with the griddlecakes.

 

It is a quote. Fine Cooking Magazine February / March 2011



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