Black Bean Croquettes

Last night we were looking for something new that made use out of the odds and ends grocery items we've accumulated during the couple of weeks. So I checked Food Network and found a writeup on the 30 Days of Healthy Eating recipes they're promoting. As is the case most of the time, I found and suggested the recipe and Lauren approved. Only this time I got a little bonus because the Black Bean Croquettes can double as a vegetarian entree. Her roommate is vegetarian so I tend to perceive my ravenous desire to cook and eat meat as somewhat of an albatross. I hate to see somebody make a grilled cheese sandwich while I'm in their kitchen making chicken Parmesan. It make me feel guilty.

So this recipe was not only good on its own merit, but it scored brownie points from Lauren and my own conscience.

Black Bean Croquettes
* 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
* 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided
* 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
* 2 scallions, sliced
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 teaspoon chili powder, hot if desired, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 avocado, diced

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mash black beans and cumin with a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the black bean mixture.

Mix the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs are coated with oil. Divide the bean mixture into 8 scant 1/2-cup balls. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the croquettes until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir avocado into the remaining tomato mixture. Serve the salsa with the croquettes.

We added shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream on our own. We also elected to cut the recipe in half, make the croquettes in 1/4 cup balls and have them as a side dish with the lemon pepper chicken I made. But I almost made a completely vegetarian meal.


Rach said...

These sound delicious....I think I'm definitely going to try these as they fit perfectly into my weird GI food diet....and I know Peter won't eat them as he is a strict carnivore & demands meat with every meal. Were they dry? How many croquettes did the 1/2 recipe make? Did you have the bake them for less time b/c they were smaller?

baorao said...

the half recipe made about 10-12 croquettes about the size of a racquetball.

they're moist in the middle, and in our opinion were kind of like having a two-bite vegetarian enchilada. we actually baked them for longer, because for some reason I thought they'd get really crispy on the outside like those fried mac & cheese poppers. they browned and got a slight crunch on the outside, but they didn't firm up enough to become finger food like I had imagined.

baorao said...

I'd also consider squirting some lime juice into the corn/bean mixture. Maybe thats because we skipped the cilantro and avocado (because our avocado wasn't ripe), but that seemed like the next logical step.