This recipe comes to us from our friend Susan, who requested it from the PBS Show A La Carte/Daisy Cooks!

Makes 6 appetizer servings, or, with a salad, a light supper

  • 1 pound navy beans or black-eyed peas, cooked and drained
  • 2 pounds small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • Half a small Spanish onion, diced very fine (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt
  • Half a Scotch bonnet chili pepper or chili pepper of your choice, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil

1. Mash about two-thirds of the beans to a paste in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining beans and then the shrimp, onion, cilantro, salt, chili, black pepper, and cumin.

2. Form the bean mix into six 3 ½-inch patties, lining them up on a baking sheet as you go. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Refrigerating the cakes will firm them up and make them easier to handle.

3. Pour enough oil into a 12-inch skillet to fill ½-inch, about 1 cup. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until rippling.

4. Meanwhile, spread a thick layer of flour out on a plate. Coat both sides of the patties, handling them gently. Slip the patties into the oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and the shrimp is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Serve with Spicy Pineapple Vinegar.