The Great Salsa Incident of Aught Eight.

Last night, our plan was to make black bean cakes according to Lucky 32‘s recipe. Except that I had to work on a spreadsheet for someone else at school, so I put Mike in charge of dinner.

MIKE: What’s the salsa recipe?

KARI: I was just going to use jar salsa.

MIKE: We don’t have any.

KARI: I put it on the list.

MIKE: I bought the stuff to make salsa.

KARI: I put it on the list. So we’d have some. For this kind of situation.

MIKE: You should have said that.

KARI: I . . . did.

MIKE: You did?

KARI: I said we should buy some. Which is why I put it on the list. To have to use in recipes.


KARI: It’s good that I’m not making this. I would be insane with anger.


MIKE: *weird inhuman noise*

KARI: What?

MIKE: I can’t tell you.

KARI: What did you do?

MIKE: I can’t tell you.

KARI: What happened?

MIKE: I am not going to tell you.

KARI: Did you ruin the salsa? How did you ruin the salsa?

MIKE: . . .

KARI: What did you do? WHAT DID YOU DO?

MIKE: I can’t tell you.

KARI: *tastes salsa*

MIKE: . . .

KARI: What IS that?

MIKE: What does it taste like?

KARI: I . . . don’t know! Did you put too much sugar in?

MIKE: Well, you said that I needed to put cumin in. So I grabbed a brown spice.

KARI: What?

MIKE: Cloves.


MIKE: I took as much out as I could.

KARI: It tastes like cookies!

MIKE: It’s not that bad.

KARI: It’s not that good.

MIKE: You can’t taste it in the black bean cakes.

KARI: That’s what’s important.


MIKE: You should go ahead and pour that salsa down the drain.

KARI: Are you kidding?

MIKE: We can’t eat it.

KARI: Are you sure?

MIKE: It’s the worst salsa I ever tasted.

You guys, those black bean cakes were an ordeal and a half. But they were freaking awesome. Which is a good thing, because what with the Salsa Incident, the Crushed Tortilla Chip Incident, and the Broken Food Processor Incident, I was fairly certain that Mike was never going to agree to have them ever again. However, he was won over by their delicious goodness.

Here’s the recipe. You can use your favorite salsa recipe, but if all you have is a jar of salsa, I’m pretty sure that will be fine. (If salsa prepared with cloves didn’t ruin the dish, I imagine even salsa made in New York City won’t be a problem.)

Lucky 32’s Black Bean Cakes

6 ½ cups black beans

½ cup salsa

½ cup diced red onion

1 ¼ red bell peppers, diced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups bread crumbs

1 tablespoon diced jalapeño peppers

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco jalapeño sauce

2 cups crushed tortilla chips

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

2 tablespoons olive oil

Rinse black beans in cold water. Place in a colander and drain well (at least 10 minutes). Add all ingredients except tortilla chips, cumin, coriander, and olive oil to a mixing bowl. Blend well with hands, mashing some of the beans to form a thick mixture. Form into 3-ounce patties and set aside. Using a food processor, blend tortilla chips, cumin, and coriander until it is a crumb consistency. Dredge each bean patty in the tortilla mixture. Heat oil in large skillet and sauté bean cakes over medium-high heat, turning when they are golden brown.

Serves: 4

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