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Pea Cakes w/Mango Salsa

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    Posted: 16 December 2013 at 10:01
This is my first course offering for the December 19 progressive dinner:

Spicy pea cakes can be found all over the islands. There's some confusion, because they call black-eyed peas black-eyed beans in the Carribean.

Any of the 240 varieties of cowpeas can be used for these cakes. For instance, I made my last batch out of Washday Peas. But, unless you grow your own, black-eyed peas are likely the only ones you'll find in the local market.

In the islands these cakes, and the salsa itself, would be made hotter than my recipe. But I kept the heat down both because Friend Wife doesn't do heat, and because, as a first course, we don't want to go overboard and kill our palates for the rest of the meal.

Black Eyed Pea Cakes with Mango Salsa

4 cups black eyed peas or other cowpeas
1 red onion, sliced
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno, diced
1 cup grated parmesan
2 large eggs
2 tbls flour
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 ½ cups bread crumbs, divided
Oil for frying

Cook peas until very tender. Drain. Divide in half.

Mix half the peas with the onion, red pepper, Jalapeno, parmesan, flour, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Run through food processor, in batches, to create a smooth paste. Blend in 1 cup bread crumbs and eggs. Fold in reserved whole peas.

Scoop out ½ cup mixture. Form into cakes about 3” in diameter and ½” thick. Coat with remaining bread crumbs. Chill finished cakes at least an hour.

Heat about 1/3 cup oil in a heavy skillet. Fry cakes a few at a time, uncovered, 4-5 minutes per side, turning once, and adding more oil as needed. Drain cakes and place on baking sheet in oven to keep warm.

Serve with mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

1 large ripe mango
3 tbls minced red onion
3 tbls diced green bell pepper
3 tbls diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup lime juice
1 tbls cilantro, chopped
1-2 hot chilies, minced, or to taste

Peel, pit, and dice the mango. Combine all ingredients. Chill in fridge at least three hours or up to overnight.
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