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Aug 16, 2005 06:01 PM

Shrimp & white bean cakes ala Daisy Fernandez

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A few weeks ago I surfed onto a PBS cooking show called "Daisy Cooks". Daisy was making a dish that included white beans and shrimp, etc. that was formed into cakes and fried. It looked and sounded yummy. Here's the problem: I wasn't quick enough to write down the ingredients, etc. thinking that I could probably get it from either her website or from the PBS station I was watching. I was wrong. It's not on her site, her book's not out yet and I can't find it on KQED's site and Googling hasn't produced a likely candidate. As close as I can remember, the dish was called something like "Acaje". I think it might be Puerto Rican. It looked like it would make a great appetizer. I'm hoping that someone out there either has a recipe for this dish or knows Daisy and can wheedle it out of her!! Oh, Please, Help me loyal order of Chowhound... Thanks in advance!

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  1. I saw that too, it did look good. It was Daisy's (Martinez, not Fernandez) take on a traditional Brazilian dish. I too did not copy the recipe, but I e-mailed Daisy (Martinez) for the recipe...if it comes, I'll post it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Marge

      Thanks again for the hint that it was Brazilian! A quick Google search for Brazilian recipes gave me the correct name for the dish: Acaraje and quite a few recipes. The one that I've linked below comes the closest to Daisy's except she used Navy beans.


      1. re: RWCFoodie

        Thank you! I now remember her having fun with the word "acaraje".

      2. re: Marge

        Yes, definately post it. Thanks!

      3. I also saw that show and that stuff looked great - I thought she used pink navy beans, though. I also have been trying to get the recipe not only for shrimp and bean cakes but for the pineapple vinagre she served it with. Does anybody have that recipe, too? She only has the Ceviche recipe from that episode on her website.

        1. It sounds like she made something similar to "acaraje" which is a black-eyed pea fritter from the north coast of Brazil. It's basically ground up black eyed peas that are fried and then topped with a sauce made from fresh and dried shrimp (i think it's called vatapa). I've never seen it made with white beans, but Daisy does some funky stuff to traditional Latin food in an effort to make it more accessible. I think here show is great and I'm glad it's getting people to try latin food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lax2mia

            That's exactly it; she made it with Navy beans and fresh shrimp and a bunch of other things that I can't remember. I just remember that she made it into what looked like crab cakes that definitely looked like something I'd like to munch! I guess I'll just have to wait for her book unless someone comes up with her recipe!

          2. Hi Everyone,.

            I was able to find it!! Here you go. Happy Cooking!!

            1 pound navy beans or black-eyed peas, cooked and drained
            2 pounds small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into ¼-inch dice
            Half a small Spanish onion, diced very fine (about ½ cup)
            2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
            2 teaspoons fine sea or kosher salt
            Half a Scotch bonnet chili pepper or chili pepper of your choice, finely chopped
            ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
            ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
            All-purpose flour
            Vegetable oil

            1. Mash about two-thirds of the beans to a paste in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining beans and then the shrimp, onion, cilantro, salt, chili, black pepper, and cumin.

            2. Form the bean mix into six 3 ½-inch patties, lining them up on a baking sheet as you go. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Refrigerating the cakes will firm them up and make them easier to handle.

            3. Pour enough oil into a 12-inch skillet to fill ½-inch, about 1 cup. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until rippling.

            4. Meanwhile, spread a thick layer of flour out on a plate. Coat both sides of the patties, handling them gently. Slip the patties into the oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and the shrimp is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

            Serve with Spicy Pineapple Vinegar!

            1 Reply
            1. I had a delicioius failure in making a version of these yesterday. I used minced cooked turkey breast and added an egg and a tbsp of chickpea flour in hopes of binding it better. I had only about 5 oz. of turkey to almost a half pound (before cooking) of beans. Used a half tsp of curr powder, panko as breading, and froze them for 30 minutes before frying. I probably didn't mash the beans well enough. They fell apart but tasted very good. I'll try again sometime using shrimp or other seafood, raw, but am also interested in a vegetarian bean-burger. The veggie burger recipes I see use TVP - I'd like to find one that uses generic cooked beans. Any ideas?