Sweet and Savory Black Bean Patties

In a Russian folk tale, a soldier was walking through a village. Tired and hungry, he knocked on the door of a big handsome house.  An old woman answered.

“Please! – begged the soldier, – I’ve traveled far and wide, I am tired and hungry, would you give me something to eat?”

“This is a poor house, don’t you see?, – said the woman, – I myself haven’t eaten for two days.”

But the soldier did not believe her. The house was bigger than all the other houses in the village, and the woman was dressed in rich clothes. He looked around and spotted an ax in the corner. And he smiled into his mustache.

“Don’t worry, good woman, we’ll quickly make a delicious stew! We’ll cook this ax.”

“An ax? You’re going to cook an ax? Whoever heard of it!”

“I’ve traveled far and wide, and learned a great many things!  Quick – bring me a pot!”

So he filled a pot with water, washed the ax, and started boiling it. Spellbound, she was watching.

“Listen, good woman, it’ll be good, but it’ll be so much better if I had some salt…”

“Salt I have,” – and she brought it out.

“Mmm, real good, but an onion would help a lot…”

“I think I can find one,” – she said, and brought it to the soldier.

“Some potatoes, – he muttered to himself after a while, then, “a piece of meat…”

Finally, the stew was ready.

“Come, mamasha (old mother), – smiled the soldier, – bring some bread and taste my stew.”

So she did, and they both ate their full, and the stew was delicious, as the soldier had promised.  But one thing kept troubling the woman:

“When are we going to eat the ax?”

“Oh, the ax? It didn’t cook that well. I’ll have to take it with me and cook it for breakfast tomorrow,” – said the soldier, pulling the ax out of the empty pot,  and bid the old woman good bye.

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I recall this story sometimes when I look around my kitchen and try to figure out what to make for dinner without running out to stores.  I have a couple of sweet potatoes. That’s a good start. I have some frozen black beans.  I can cook brown rice. Sure I can cook brown rice – I don’t buy any other rice. Rice and black beans? That’s good, but it’s only a side dish, not a main course. Then an idea hits!

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We are making sweet potato patties, with everything else but a kitchen sink thrown in, just like “the ax stew.” Pierce these guys with a sharp knife or a fork, cover, and microwave until soft.

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Here are my black beans, defrosted, rinsed, and draining. Waiting to join their friends, sweet potatoes.

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Peel those microwaved sweet potatoes and mash them up real well. I wouldn’t recommend using a food processor as you lose texture.

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Add black beans and mash it up together, but not too much. You want it to be chunky, not mushy.

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Now that brown rice comes into play. Mix it in and season with cinnamon, paprika, sumac, salt and pepper. If you like it hot,  you can add some chili pepper, but this animal does not live in my house. When my younger son is at my table, I serve jalapenos on the side.

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That’s my husband dicing cilantro and dill stems. When he does it, I don’t need a food processor!

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Just for fun, I tossed in some ground walnuts. You mix it all up and form patties. Next time I’ll be smart and refrigerate them for a while. Since the mix was very soft and sticky, it was a bit challenging to shape it into patties.

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I did shape them, though, and put them on a preheated, lightly misted griddle. I flipped them over after a few minutes, and…

Sw sav blk bn fin

Here we go! Beautiful, healthy, delicious, and nutritious dinner. And while they were frying, I made Curried Mushrooms (to see the recipe, please click here) as a perfect side dish to compliment the sweet and savory flavors of the patties.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (2 large)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely diced dill and cilantro stems
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A pinch of chili powder (optional)

PROCEDURE

  • Microwave or bake sweet potatoes. Cook rice.
  • Preheat griddle or shallow frying pan, lightly mist with oil.
  • Peel sweet potatoes, mash by hand to preserve texture, add black beans  and mash together, add 1 cup rice, add the rest of ingredients, mix well.
  • Add more rice if needed.
  • Form patties, fry for a few minutes on each side until browned.

Enjoy!

 

 

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75 Comments Add yours

  1. So delicious, what a great idea to put mashed sweet potato in there. I will have to try that next time. I love vegetarian food! Thanks Dolly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – coming from you, it’s a great compliment!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Rhythm says:

    I loved the story you shared 😀 delicious patties.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Ruchi!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love the story 🙂 It’s a common motif in fairy tales around the world, this stew making -some use a stone, some a piece of string. I love fairy tales, my Masters thesis was on the language of fairy tales (sort of). And I love the recipe, it does look very tasty indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Even in Russia, there are three variations of it: porridge, soup, and stew, but an ax is the constant. The question I am struggling with at the moment is whether a book format should still include my stories embedded in the recipes. What do you think?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Of course! I mean, I love the recipes but in case you haven’t noticed: I read all of them 🙂 The meaty, fishy ones as well. Your stories are compelling and irresistible, they need to wander gently around the more practical parts, enchanting the reader and adding spice to the food:)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I thank you for advice and inspiration! Can I quote you – when I the book is ready for publication, that is?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’ll be honoured!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. [ Smiles ] Reading this got me very hungry.

    As a rule, I will only check out your blog when my stomach is totally filled!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, I think… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    A very hot summer calls for light, but nutritious and satisfying meals. Here is one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had to, thank you for posting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Had to – oh wow! You’re so sweet! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, you’re an amazing cook, and as a chef for 26 years, I know a thing about amazing cooks and amazing recipes.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah, you are a real chef! I am only a semi-retired grandmother having fun in the kitchen, so your kind words truly mean a lot to me!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Retired I am….cooking for me and a few friends these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. But you are still a professional chef, while I am just a wife, mother, and grandmother! 😺

        Liked by 1 person

      7. 😎🌷🤓🥀🤗🌻 Being a wife, mother, and grandmother trumps being a chef.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I like your style, my friend! “Trumps” indeed – do you play cards?

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I play all types of card games…you play?

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I do, but only one game. It’s called Preferance, and it’s a predecessor of Bridge. Quite complex, actually.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I have heard of and played bridge, never heard of Preferance. Are you good at this Preferance?

        Liked by 1 person

      12. The legend is that it was brought to Russia from France in 1812 by Napoleon soldiers. I don’t think it’s true, but it is a European game, and there are championships, just like here you have poker championships. I am fairly good, but not like professionals who make a living playing with tourists on the beach in Odessa. 😼

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Devorah, it’s a pleasure to meet you.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Likewise, Jueseppi!

        Like

  6. Madraasi says:

    Looks yum. Will give a try and update the result 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear, I hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Osyth says:

    Of all the things I miss about the USA (and I do miss it for many reasons) black beans are very very high on the list. I can, however get other pulses so I shall substitute because these look too tasty to miss! The folk tale is a winner …. I love a crafty soldier 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Osyth, but I am surprised to hear that you cannot get black beans in France. Here we don’t consider them “American” per se; rather, they belong to Cuban and Southwestern cuisines. As our local celebrity satirist Dave Barry remarked, “We live as close to the United States, as humanly possible, without actually being there.”
      On to the kitchen to make something called Golubtzy. Stay tuned! 😸

      Like

      1. Osyth says:

        We have a vast selection of haricots blancs each claiming to be THE best and I can get red beans and chickpeas no problem but black beans are elusive. I used to enjoy nipping down the Mexican aisle where they were cheaper than in the aisle next door for the self same branded product…. this may be a particular peculiarity of Massachusetts but it always tickled me being a Bargain Betty on the quiet. I enjoy Dave Barry’s comment …. satire is always welcome Chez moi 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Massachusetts has quite a few peculiarities. Somehow my son feels comfortable living there, which I could never understand. The boat is “winterized” for 8 – 9 months every year – what kind of a life is that?
        I am sure you can make these patties with red beans (not chickpeas, though), but you’ll have to play with seasoning. Enjoy!

        Like

  8. The story is great! 🙂 I love it. And the recipe… I am definitely going to try it. I like to put courgettes in patties 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do too, but I like to use local seasonal vegetables, and courgettes are in season here four times during the year. That’s when I use them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Joëlle says:

    I love vegetarian patties such as these! Will wait for cooler weather to make them. Thank you, Dolly, and thank you for the story too: some smart soldier that was !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some stupid old greedy woman, too! Folk tales teach the right values.
      I am glad you like the recipe, dear Joelle! 😻

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Dolly, you’re writing a book??? How exciting!! But of course you have to add the stories!! That is half of what makes your kosher kitchen so kool!! Of course, the food has to be there too!!
    Russian stone soup, yum!
    I never would have thought of black beans and sweet potatoes together! That’s why you’re the cook!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, Melinda, that’s why I am a crazy funky cat who comes up with the craziest funkiest ideas! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on About Fauna Park Tales and commented:
    Thanks for this tasty recipe! I’m reblogging it because I simply have to try something new for hubby and my grandchildren – always asking for patties when I’ve run out of imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear Maretha! I hope both your family and your readers enjoy these patties!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m always eager to see what nice goodies you have next! Thanks for your most interesting blog posts! 💐

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh you are so sweet! Thank you for a lovely comment!! 😻

        Like

  12. You are SO creative with the stories – and generous with your recipes, Dolly. Yet another good one!

    For whatever it’s worth, my vote is also YES on including a story with each recipe (or most of them). That’s the thing that sets you apart from every other recipe blog, so why not let it distinguish your cookbook in a similar manner? I agree, that it is “half of what makes your kosher kitchen so kool!!”
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback. I had a long consult with an artist friend about the book cover today. The book is almost done, and I am including the stories, but I am not including the step-by-step photos and Google images. As per her (the artist’s) advice, anyone who wants to see more, will go to the blog anyway. I am still wondering, if they will go to the blog anyway, who the heck would spend money on a book? We’ll see. The stories are there, though, minus the images.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’d be surprised – some people prefer to have an actual book – and not everybody has computer access in their kitchens.

        But people DO like photos of the finished product. I’m sure they *would* go to the blog for step-by-step photos if they thought they needed them.

        WOO HOO on getting the book almost done, and for finally connecting with your friend about the cover.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My friend just got back from Russia where she had a mix of very happy events and very sad memories, but her artistic acumen is as sharp as ever, and she was extremely helpful, as always. I am so grateful to her!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A visit to Russia – how exciting! Do you ever think about going back for a bit? I’m not sure I would, had I your history, unless it was to visit family or very close friends — but then, I’ve never left the country where I grew up to live in another so who knows?

        Glad to read she came back with some happy memories – and that she was helpful to you about your book.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I went back once, for the 200’s anniversary of Odessa. It was a momentous celebration, I received an official invitation, and I knew that most of my friends would also come, from all over the world. It was an incredible experience that deserves a long story of its own. I have no reason, nor desire, to go there again. However, my husband, who left Odessa as a child, has this madcap idea of sailing across the Atlantic to Israel and from there to Odessa. So far it’s in a dream stage.
        My friend’s mother is there, and even though she was born after the war, she has the “Leningrad blockade” mentality, which means she doesn’t want to move, and doesn’t even want to come here for a visit, which is obviously causing my friend a lot of heartache.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. What a wonderful reunion – and how lovely that everyone was doing well enough to afford that trip. Oh please share the experience in your articles – maybe bit by bit – or in a whole other book? (a lot of work, tho’)

        How sad for your friend. I hope her mother is happy where she is and I’m glad your friend did not feel similarly constrained and could choose to return.

        I had an ex-pat community client in Moscow at one time (wife’s job – he could be flexible). He is back in NYC now (unless he has moved to Aspen – lol – missing the cold winters). I know a lot of the expat community absolutely loved living there. M. said seeing the architecture was an amazing experience.

        Gotta’ run – bath then vet for Tink! He’s fine – it’s a check-up for heartworms (necessary yearly now to get the medication – need to ask if there’s another I can put him on without that constraint).
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s different for ex-pats, as in the old joke about the difference between tourism and emigration.
        I don’t know whether I would ever be ready to share personal experiences, other that little bits that peak through here and there. I really am a private person, extrovert personality notwithstanding.
        Good luck, Tink! I also need to go back for a booster shot in two weeks. I feel for you!
        Squeak,
        Pyshka

        Liked by 1 person

      7. No heart worms – both tests came back negative, and we are good for another year with his shots. Tink was a very good boy – didn’t bark at ANY of the other dogs, and impressed everyone with how laid back he was as I brushed out a few remaining mats while we waited for the lab results.

        His reward was that he got to sniff and smell every single tree and bush and lamp post all the way home. 🙂 (16-18 minutes to walk there quickly — over an hour to get home).

        Tink sends his thanks to little Pyshka – and wants her to know it really wasn’t all that bad.

        Behind the main desk was a tiny black kitten in a h-u-g-e multilevel crate who clearly wasn’t happy about not being given the run of the place – up for adoption. I thought of you and little Pyshka, Dolly. If I weren’t allergic, I would have walked home with a dog AND a kitty! She was a cutie – and SO tiny to be making all that racket!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I am so glad Tink’s annual procedure is over! He is so well-behaved – amazing!
        Little curious kittens usually don’t like to be confined, just like little kids who have just started toddling around and are exploring the world.
        Your reminded me of that moment, 9 years ago, when we first saw a tiny Barmalei who was, at that time, even younger than Pyshka. My husband said the kitten looked “majestic,” and that was true and still is. It holds even when he climbs on top of Beba trying to do what he has no equipment to accomplish. The sounds are pretty passionate, though! 😼

        Liked by 1 person

      9. lol – Tink takes it out on one of his pillows – but he doesn’t look particularly majestic. 🙂 He is growing up to be a great little dog. When we get the barking under control I think I can pronounce him PERFECT.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      10. How do you propose to get the barking under control?

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I took the advice of Ray’s “dad” Colin – which he got when he hired a dog trainer to help with Ray (one of Tink’s blog buddies) when he was first rescued:

        Pay close attn. to what happens just *before* the barking begins and distract with a treat at that point. Once the dog associates other dogs with treats (ie, good things vs. bad), you’re almost home, and begin to substitute praise.

        The trick is to make sure not to treat AFTER the bark or the dog thinks that’s what you want him to do.

        It’s working already – not 100%, but heading in that direction. Jason brought his dog Xander over today (big dog) and Tink did fine with him – and he didn’t bark at the dogs at the vet (and I had no treats with me so he did it for praise for being a “quiet dog” alone).

        It’s tricky when the dogs pass by – because Tink is reinforced for barking — in his doggy mind the barking “makes” them go away. Ditto anyone passing by our door on their way upstairs. I WANT him to bark when someone is outside the apt. door – but one or two warning barks and then stop.

        Consistency is the key- and not confusing your animal. Tink is a pretty smart little guy, so he’ll get it with time.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I hadn’t realized you could actually train a dog not to bark. I thought you were joking. There is a whole system – I am impressed!

        Liked by 1 person

      13. It takes time, a lot of love, and consistent attention, and most people don’t keep at it in any manner likely to work. Good owners don’t let their dogs bark wildly anymore than they would allow their dogs to bite, IMHO. Most dogs are trainable, and it’s rarely the dog’s fault when they misbehave.

        I keep telling Tink that nobody likes a yippy little dog — and I want everybody to LIKE him. 🙂 He seems to be listening – lol. Like anything else in life, it works best to affirm what you want to see more of. Dogs are great teachers!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      14. In my other life, I had dogs, and I taught them to behave, especially a Rottweiler who was a very big girl, and people got scared when all she wanted was a hug and a kiss. But it would’ve never occurred to me to teach a dog not to bark. It’s the law of nature: cats meow, dogs bark. I see your point, of course. And certainly, dogs are trainable while cats are not. 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      15. What is the saying? Dogs have masters, cats have slaves. lololol
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I prefer to think that cats have staff, and Barmalei is my familiar, according to my husband, so he is the Chief of Staff here. 😼

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Sally says I am the boss, so I guess that makes me Chief of Staff over here too.
        Woof! TINK

        Liked by 1 person

      18. That’s right! From one Chief to another, a resounding MEOW!
        Barmalei

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Good morning, Barmalei. Sorry I missed you at Sally’s party, but I think Sally loved your Mom’s roses. We’re going back when Mom finishes her pot of coffee – AFTER she takes me for my first walk.
        Woof! TINK

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Enjoy your walk and have fun at the party!
        Mews and purrs,
        The Cat Gang 😻

        Like

  13. Hi I know someone that made your patties with chickpeas-both sound delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, dear!
      I find the combination of black beans and sweet potatoes interesting, but I also have a recipe for chickpea burgers:
      https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/oriental-veggie-burgers/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to try both ways…thanks for the suggestions.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My pleasure! Let me know how it comes out, please!

        Like

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