Wasn't it supposed to rain this week? I was thinking as long as we were going to have another wet week, I might as well make some soup. But then it turned out to be fair weather, and today looks just gorgeous. What am I doing sitting inside? Sharing a recipe with you, of course.
I made a black bean soup anyway, and I also ended up using some leftover elote to make griddled corn cakes. Failing to remember for some reason what happens when you heat corn kernels to very high temperatures...
(Anyone? Yes, you in the back. That's right, they POP.)
... I nearly lost an eyeball due to a corn kernel flying out of a grease-filled skillet. Please, do as I say, not as I do. Chop the corn in a food processor before adding it to the masa dough.
This brothy preparation is my favorite way to have black bean soup, which I usually avoid in restaurants because it ends up being thick as mud. This is a nourishing and refreshing summer soup, especially with a little sour cream and chopped cilantro. It's fast and easy and would be a good starter for entertaining, or as a healthy meal with a salad. Don't forget the elote masa cakes! Both recipes are gluten-free, though, as my mom pointed out, not if you use my preferred brand of vegetable stock (which has maltodextrin). Always check labels if you have food allergies.
Any Typepad users know how to stop the automatic double-spacing when you hit 'return?' I never had this problem before, but now it's really driving me crazy. [Fixed! Thanks, Craig!]
Brothy Black Bean Soup
© 2009 by Alexis McKinnis
Serves 4 as a starter soup (yields about 3 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I use canned)
1 overflowing cup Swiss chard, chopped
2 cups cooked black beans, drained (again, canned are just fine)
1 cup vegetable broth (I strongly prefer Edward & Sons Not-Beef bouillon cubes)
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
Sour cream and chopped cilantro, for garnish
Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add tomatoes and Swiss chard, cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until tomatoes change color. Stir in black beans, broth and chipotle chile. Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes. Soup will thicken the longer it cooks or stands; to thin, just add more stock or water. Before serving, remove chipotle chile. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro.
Elote Masa Cakes
© 2009 by Alexis McKinnis
Makes 8 masa cakes
1 cup instant corn masa flour (I use Maseca)
2/3 cup water
1 cup leftover elote (or 1 cup cooked corn kernels + 2 tablespoons grated cotija cheese + 1/2 teaspoon pequin chile powder)
pinch baking powder
vegetable oil for frying
Combine masa flour, water and salt in medium bowl to make a soft dough. Form dough into ball, cover and rest for 20 minutes. CHOP ELOTE IN FOOD PROCESSOR UNTIL NO WHOLE KERNELS ARE VISIBLE. Mix elote and baking powder in with masa dough. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces, about the size of an egg. Heat a non-stick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat. Shape dough pieces into round discs about 1/3" thick and carefully lay them into the skillet. Cook 2 minutes on each side, until brown spots appear and edges are dry. Allow skillet to cool, then fill bottom with vegetable oil, about 1/8" deep. Heat skillet once again over medium-high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Fry cakes in the oil a few at a time, about a minute on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm. I like to drizzle mine with the adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles.
After the first griddle:
Finished elote masa cakes, drizzled with chipotle adobo sauce: