Black Bean Cakes with Smoked Chicken

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Black Bean Cakes with Smoked Chicken
Serves 4
Gotta give credit to Chef Keith Famie for bringing this dish to my attention at his restaurant Les Auteurs in Royal Oak back in the late 80's. The recipe is mostly black beans but the addition of vegetables, chicken and a drop of smoke give this mixture a decidedly Southwestern flair. Topped with Nino's Santa Fe Style Black Bean and Corn Salsa and a dollop of sour cream it's a home run!!
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  1. 3 1⁄2 cups Black Beans, well drained
  2. 1⁄2 cup Bacon, minced
  3. 1 tsp. Garlic Cloves, minced
  4. 1⁄4 cup Vidalia Onion, fine chopped
  5. 3 Tbsp. Carrot, fine chopped
  6. 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  7. 1 cup Grilled Chicken Breast, 1/2" diced, chilled
  8. 1⁄4 tsp. Dry Thyme
  9. 1⁄2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  10. 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
  11. 1⁄2 tsp. Ground Chili Powder
  12. 1 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  13. 1 tsp. Minors Chicken Base
  14. 1⁄2 tsp. Hickory Flavor Liquid Smoke
  15. 1 1⁄2 tsp. Light Brown Sugar
  1. Place drained black beans in a medium bowl and mash until beans are broken and mixture is somewhat pasty.
  2. Saute minced bacon in a sauce pan until bacon is crisp. Add onion and saute a few minutes on medium heat. Add garlic and carrots and continue to saute a few minutes longer on medium heat.
  3. Remove bacon mixture from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add this mixture to bowl of mashed beans and stir in.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to mixture and fold in until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. For quesadilla, spread approximately 1/2 cup of mixture on a 6" flour tortilla with 1/4 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top. Place another 6" flour tortilla on top, press and pan fry in a small amount of oil on both sides until cheese is melted and tortillas are light brown.
  6. For sauteed cakes: Flour pre-portioned cakes in corn meal on both sides and pan fry on medium high heat in canola oil until well browned.
  7. Serve with fresh salsa and sour cream and a sprig of cilantro.
  1. Yields 4 cups.
Nino Salvaggio