Notes: Queso fresco, a mild white Mexican cheese, is available in well-stocked supermarkets and Latino grocery stores. The black bean batter can be made through step 2 up to 2 hours ahead; cover and chill until you're ready to cook the cakes. Serve the black bean cakes with additional queso fresco crumbled over the top, with the roasted plantains and mango salsa on the side.
3 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup minced green onions (including green tops)
2 fresh serrano chilies, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites
1 cup crumbled queso fresco (about 4 oz.; see notes) or shredded jack cheese
About 2 tablespoons salad oil
How to Make It
In a food processor, whirl black beans just until slightly chunky. Scrape into a bowl and stir in egg yolks, flour, baking powder, green onions, chilies, cumin, vinegar, and salt.
In another bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold whites into black bean mixture just until incorporated. Gently stir in queso fresco.
Pour 1 teaspoon oil into a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat; when hot, drop batter in 1/4-cup portions into pan and spread into 2-inch-wide cakes with the bottom of measuring cup. Cook, turning once with a wide spatula, until cakes are browned on both sides and firm to touch in the center, about 6 minutes total. As cakes are cooked, arrange in a single layer on 12- by 15-inch baking sheets in a 200° oven; cover loosely with foil and keep warm up to 30 minutes. Repeat to cook remaining cakes, adding more oil to pan as necessary.