This recipe, courtesy of Flamingo Musings, was part of the Amazing Appetizers Culinary Challenge at Eat, Write, Retreat.
14.5 ounce can black beans
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil (your choice)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 lbs. white potatoes
2 teaspoons black truffle salt
About 1 1/2 cups finely ground, unsalted cracker crumbs (like soda crackers), or plain, unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons oil of your choice for brushing
Prep Time: 30min | Cook Time: 30min
Drain and rinse the black beans and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and salt.
Stir and sauté until the onion is translucent.
Add the cumin and black pepper, and stir until well mixed.
Add the black beans to the pan, stir to mix well, and using a potato masher (or other suitable tool), mash the beans and vegetables together, combining until you have a dry mixture that somewhat resembles browned ground beef.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into roughly 2-inch pieces.
Place them in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.
Cook the potatoes about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.
Drain the potatoes, and put them through a ricer, or mash until completely smooth, with no lumps.
Add the truffle salt and mix very well.
Do not add any butter or liquid!
Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with aluminum foil and either brushing it with a bit of oil, or spray lightly with cooking spray.
While the potatoes are still warm, and using a large cookie scoop or your hands, scoop out generous mounds of mashed potato and roll them between your hands to make firm balls about 1 ½- to 2-inches wide.
Cut each ball in half and, placing one half in the palm of one hand and using the fingers and thumb of the other hand, shape each half into a bowl.
Using a teaspoon or the large end of a melon baller, place a generous scoop of the filling in one half-bowl.
Place the other half-bowl over it and seal the two halves together, rolling the ball between your hands and making sure there is no visible seam.
Place the stuffed potato balls onto the prepared baking sheet and place it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450º F.
Remove the potato balls from the freezer.
Brush each ball with the oil, then coat with the cracker crumbs and replace it onto the baking sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the balls are golden brown.
Allow them to sit on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before removing, permitting them to firm up.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
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