Turn Leftover Ham and Beans into Fried Bean CakesWritten by Lillian Tram on March 9th, 2016
Everyone knows that beans are a great source of protein. Toss some ham into the pot and whip up some tasty jalapeno cornbread for a delicious and affordable meal. The next night, you might be able to pass these yummy beans off as a side dish with steak or chops.
If by the third day, you’ve still got ham and beans in the pot, do you toss them out or repurpose them again? Well, I guess that would depend upon how many people you’re feeding and how much cash is in your grocery budget.
What to Do with Leftover Ham and Beans?
Last week, I cooked a delicious bone-in ham for the family and they were delighted. I’d have to say it was quite yummy, especially thanks to the pineapple and brown sugar glaze. When everyone was finished, I put the leftovers away.
One Ziploc bag held the leftover ham pieces and chunks, while the other held a big ole ham bone. I put them both in the freezer until just the right time for a big ole pot of brown beans and ham.
Saturday, I used the ham pieces and chunks after soaking some pinto beans. They were so good, especially with the jalapeno corn bread I whipped up. (I made muffins this time – kids loved them, thought they were cupcakes until they took a sizeable bite!)
So the family scarfed them down and the leftover beans were tucked away in the fridge for another meal.
Sunday, those yummy beans became a side dish to some yummy skillet braised ribs and cabbage (see pic above – they were awesome …and fall apart tender!) and again, the family ate them without complaint. Now, it is day number three and I have to find a way to stretch April’s food budget as far as I can – and get rid of these beans!
Recipe for Fried Pinto Bean Cakes
So, tonight I am making fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, and I found a nifty how-to video on YouTube to help me get those beans past my family one more night. (Wish me luck!) You can see the video here or I will walk you through the steps, below.
(The recipe in the video only requires one ingredient: self-rising flour. I was pretty sure my family would want something with a little more flavor so I opted for a different recipe, below.)
Again, super easy and all you really need is a few ingredients, which is great for pinching pennies. Well, and those leftover beans.
Leftover Fried Bean Cakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups seasoned pinto beans, drained
Combine all of the ingredients, except the beans. Add the beans last and stir lightly, just until combined. A seasoned cast iron skillet is recommended but any non-stick skillet will do the trick. Add a small amount of bacon fat and heat skillet on medium high heat.
Pour the bean cake batter into the skillet and cook about a minute or so per side. (Pretend like you’re making small pancakes) Mine were about the size of a large biscuit. Just like a pancake, the batter will bubble and rise. Don’t mash it and don’t mess with it. Allow the cake to get a nice golden brown before turning; repeat.
These turned out to be quite yummy and it turns out, they are good with whatever condiments your family prefers. If you aren’t making gravy, ketchup hot sauce and syrup are all great runners up.
Unfortunately, even after all these menu changes, there’s still a little bit of beans in the pot. I guess the doggy finally gets to eat some leftover ham and beans. Or I could try another recipe I found, which promises to be great with salsa and sour cream.