August – hot, muggy, unbearable across the mid-Atlantic coast. What does the entire populace do? Migrate down Hwy’s 158 and 12 to the Outer Banks, NC on a weekly basis to enjoy beautiful weather and the cooling ocean and Pamlico Sound. What do I do?
Fly 5 hours from California, where the beach is only 20 minutes away, max. Why do I do it? One word – family is everything. And it’s pretty darn gorgeous out there, nothing like west coast beaches.
During this weekly migration, the highways get pretty backed up, especially on Saturday’s. One great way to take a break is to stop at one of the many farmer’s markets. These markets are literally in middle of farm fields that surround all the highways. It doesn’t get fresher than this!
And what is one to do when a bag of freshly shelled butter beans (aka baby lima beans)? Buy it and figure out what to make with them later, which is exactly what I did. I looked at a bunch of recipes, but settled on potato and bean cakes with green onion for an appetizer. Who doesn’t like a fried potato cake?!
This recipe from epicurious.com couldn’t be easier. It was a great little snack before the delicious mean of grilled greek chicken and lemony orzo pasta salad my cousin’s wife made. The recipe called for canned beans, but I one upped them and
had fresh. In order to make them a little closer to the creamy texture of the potato, I par boiled the beans for a few minutes then shocked them in a bowl of ice water.
If I was in my own kitchen, I would’ve added some hot sauce into the mash mixture as well. The onions gave it a little zing, but it still could’ve used a little assist. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of no where and hot sauce wasn’t in the cabinet so I went without.
Recipe from epicurious.com (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mashed-Potato-and-Butter-Bean-Cakes-with-Green-Onions-240436)
- 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 1 15-ounce can butter beans, drained, coarsely mashed or (Fresh, par boiled)
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or fresh breadcrumbs
- Extra-virgin olive oil (for frying)
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to pot; stir over medium heat until dry, about 1 minute. Add milk and butter; mash. Mix in mashed beans and green onions. Season with salt and pepper; cool 15 minutes.
Place panko in large bowl. Drop 1/4 cupfuls potato mixture into panko; turn to coat. Coat bottom of 2 large nonstick skillets with oil; heat over medium heat. Divide potato cakes between skillets. Using spatula, flatten each potato cake to 2-inch round. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes per side.
And if all else fails, drink Pimm’s cups with your sisters!!! 🙂