Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chili Cakes; my next endeavor:

One of the things my brother and sister made was what they called chili cakes. It was another easy recipe that just called for a lot of prep time. What I really like about this, other than the great taste, is how they're also vegan. I have way too many vegan friends who can't eat most of the food I make and I don't want to experiment with soy and flax seeds nor buy the overpriced pretend butter or imitation grass that only costs a pinky finger and my unborn first child.

I'm going to a Halloween party thrown by a friend of mine, a vegan, and when I find a recipe like this I put it to memory (and now to blog) so I can make something tasty, easy, and fatty for everyone and not just myself to enjoy. 

(above) Ingredients are pretty simple. Culantro, yellow split peas, cumin seeds, garlic, onion, hot pepper.

(above) You will NEED to soak the yellow split peas overnight until soft. Biggest step.

(above and below) A food processor is not necessary but I certainly suggest one. A magic bullet may work. Who knows? Either way you will be adding a little of all these ingredients to your food processor or mortar.

(above) You will see the mixture is mainly yellow split peas, drained. Included is a chunk of onion (spring onion is better), a clove of garlic and a good teaspoon of cumin. Salt and pepper wouldn't hurt either. The green is the pepper and you probably won't want as much as we added, depending on your spice tolerance.

(above and below) While the mixture is blending up to a crumbly mixture feel free to watch your mother and your nephew share a dance.

(above and below) The mixture when finished should resemble cold stuffing or wet-ish breadcrumbs.

While your 2 inches of oil is heating up in the pan you can watch your nephew take a new leading lady: your sister. She can't spend too long though because she's the sweetheart who taught me how to use two spoons to give them a squashed hard-boiled egg look before dropping (not splattering) them into the hot, hot oil to fry for a minute or two on each side.

Shape is hardly important though. 

Be a little quick about putting them in the pan; the first few will help you figure out how hot you need your oil to be. I'd say about 350 degrees; hot enough you're not boiling the chili cakes in oil but cool enough it's not gonna blacken them by the time you're done spooning them all in. 

You will be in an almost constant state of either flipping over the early cakes that you put in the pan and adding new ones to an empty side of the oil or you could be taking out the first cakes and laying them over paper towels. Perhaps you should try some of the first batch to make sure the inside is done enough? 

(above) They seriously only need a few minutes total until they're golden brown and ready to eat. I would suggest a sauce to dip them in, something sweet and spicy. Or perhaps you'd rather ranch? Either way they are good by themselves or with one of your favorite dips.

Just ask one of my dogs below as she waits for one of these babies to fall off the spatula.

What I loved about these were before we gobbled them all down they cooled down in the bowl. While cold they were still very good, which led me to believe they were good party food. Next week when I make my own I'm going to change the recipe to make it my own. I want to try two separate batches, one split yellow peas like the originals and one green split peas. I also want to use some bell pepper as well as hot pepper to add that flavor in there.

By the time they arrive to the party they'll be a little cold so I know they'll still be good but I'm going to try heating some up in the oven and I have a feeling they'll come out just as good. Wish me luck and let me know if you make your own, I'd love to see how they come out.

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