Mashed and spiced and fried to a crisp…
Beans have been a staple crop on Mars since the very first pioneers arrived with many a sack to plant, and little to sustain them meantime but hope and, yes, beans. In sacks.
Mrs Bailey has countless recipes in her repertoire, and has shared a number of them already with us here; but her beancakes are a favourite throughout the school, because what child doesn’t love something fried, with a crisp outer coat and a delectable interior?
(Me, I like these for lunch, with a couple of fried eggs atop; but your mileage is your own. Try ’em with sour cream and more harissa, or as a side dish with curry and rice, or…)
A pound of cooked beans, of any type — lima/butter beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, anything…
A bunch of cilantro, finely chopped, stems and all
A bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons potato starch (yes, you could certainly use cornstarch, if that’s what you have)
2 tablespoons harissa
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 egg white
Mash the beans in a large bowl, or alternatively — if your hand issues are as bad as mine — pulse ’em in a food processor till they’re coarsely broken up, and then transfer them to a larger bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the egg white, and work until they’re thoroughly mixed. Beat the egg white to soft peaks in a separate bowl, and fold that in.
Chill the mixture until ready to use.
Heat some olive oil in a cast-iron skillet (or, y’know, a nonstick pan, or a stainless or carbon steel skillet, or…). Shape the cold mixture into firm little cakes, and fry both sides to a golden brown.
You can find more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here:
And the adventures of the Crater School girls and their long-suffering teachers may be found here: