Saturday, February 11, 2012

Black Eye Pea Cakes with Mushroom Sauce

I've noticed something a little strange about the three year old lately (okay, a lot of strange things, but those don't pertain to this post). If I serve something like, say, lentils or black eye peas as a soup or over rice in their original form (which I do often), he doesn't seem to have much interest. If I smash them up like re-fried beans or form into a patty he inhales them like they're fruit snacks or something. See? Weird. But these little cakes came out of that realization. (Also, I realize this is a totally weird photo. I blame it on trying to become a photographer at my photo workshop last weekend. Thanks Molly! You are awesome).

Black Eye Pea Patties
14 oz can black eye peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil

Place black eye peas through parsley in the food processor and pulse until mushy. Put the mixture into a large bowl and add the egg and bread crumbs. Mix it all up using your hands. Then wet hands to form four patties. Put those on a plate in the fridge for 15 minutes to help set up. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and carefully place the patties in the oil. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until brown.

Mushroom Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper

First, saute the mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil until browned. Remove from pan. In the same skillet, add butter until melted. Then saute the onion until soft, and add the flour. Mix it around in the onion and butter until it is pasty. Slowly begin to add the broth, stirring constantly, making a little slurry with each addition of broth. After it's all added, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until desired gravy consistency. Add mushrooms back in to the pan until heated through.

We had this with brown rice and roasted Brussels sprouts. I thought it seemed a little like Salisbury steak. Or, "throwback Americana" as my husband called it. I called it great, and Graham ate a whole patty and asked for another. Sans mushroom sauce. He has decided he does not like mushrooms. Bummer. He does love Brussels sprouts, though, so that's a win!

*Outside of the oil they're cooked in (and not counting the mushroom sauce) these are really light. Plus, black eye peas are a fantastic source of iron (24% RDA in a cup).  Iron is something we apparently lack around here, so I love finding ways to get it in. It's an important part of the hemoglobin in our blood, which carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the rest of our bodies. Iron-deficient anemia is the number one cause of anemia in childhood. Anemia is one of the few nutrient deficient diseases that is a real concern for the US. Also good for the blood? Vitamin K, which Brussels sprouts have a ton of!

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