The other night I decided to make some Mexican-inspired (I like to think of them as Nuevo Mexcian) dishes.
The first was Drunken Pinto Beans with Charred Onions and Chilis from Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen (from the winter section). Here is a picture of them in a bowl (they are a little bit soupy) with some queso fresco on top.
I also made Spicy Corn Cakes with Smoked Cheese and Chilis (in the foreground).
The corn cakes were interesting. I compared them to Mexican Egg Foo Yung (sp?). I used tofu in place of the ricotta (maybe a little too much tofu), and didn't have any cayenne pepper so I subbed Fajita seasoning (salt-free). Next time I make these I will use corn meal instead of flour, and really spice them up. Also, it made a ton! They were good (maybe even better) leftover the next day at lunch.
Spicy Corn Cakes with Smoked Cheese and Chilies
from Fields of Greens
1/2 tablespoon light vegetable oil
1/2 medium red onion, diced, about 1 cup
3 ears of corn, shaved, about 3 cups kernels (I used frozen)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 or 3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 eggs, separated
1/2 pound ricotta cheese, about 1 cup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unbleached whie flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces smoked cheese, grated, about 3/4 cup (I used smoked gouda)
light vegetable oil for the pan
Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Saute over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and the cayenne; saute for about 5 minutes, until the corn is tender. Add the chilies and lemon juice to the warm corn, transfer to a bowl, and allow the mixture to cool.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
In a medium-size bowl, combine the egg yolks, ricotta, and milk. Stir in the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the baking powder, then add the smoked cheese. Stir the corn into this mixture, then fold in the egg whites.
Spoon the batter into a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat, making 3-inch cakes. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until the cakes are lightly browned.Makes 24 three-inch cakes; serves 4 to 6