Black Beans and Caramelized Corn

There’s a little restaurant in Lexington that I wish I had discovered sooner:

One of my roommates in my last semester of college worked at Bourbon n’ Toulouse and we would all eat there for free every Monday. Everyone that went there for the first time always got the crawfish etouffée, because on first glance it’s the best thing on the menu. And in reality, its probably the worst. It’s really not bad, but there are other things that are just so good. Luckily, I was introduced to the best dish on the menu early on, and it’s one I crave anytime I think about Lexington.

I was nervous to try to recreate this dish, because I didn’t think there was any chance I could make it taste anything like the real thing. To my surprise, I got pretty close on my first try. It’s really about balancing the sweetness and the spice in the end. It’s probably not perfect, but it holds us over until we can get the real thing in Lexington.

Black Beans and Caramelized Corn

2 tablespoons butter
1 can or 1/2 bag frozen, or equal amount fresh sweet corn
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 red pepper, peeled and diced
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
A few splashes hot sauce of choice

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add corn and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized and sweet-smelling. Add brown sugar and saute for about 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add black beans and red pepper and saute until warmed through, about 2 more minutes. Add half and half, cayenne, salt and pepper, and hot sauce, and let simmer until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately over rice with more hot sauce, and a big hunk of french bread on the side, buttered and sprinkled with cajun seasoning. Enjoy!

Yield: 2-3 servings

You probably have everything you need for this recipe in your kitchen already. I have a huge bag full of cut peppers in my freezer from my CSA which has saved me so much money this winter. I microwave the frozen peppers for 30 seconds covered in plastic wrap, let it cool, then peel and chop them. Peeling is so much easier this way!

Caramelizing corn in butter… imagine the smells!

Everything simmering together.

The finished meal. Spicy and sweet and hearty and simple. It’s so good!

Mmmm… Anyone want to go to Lexington?

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3 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Vegetarian

3 responses to “Black Beans and Caramelized Corn

  1. Redkendog

    Thank you! When you’re up in Indianapolis, IN checkout Yats for the same and more:-)

  2. Papa B

    I ate at Yats for lunch today passing through and had this dish. Was awesome and the reason I’m here on this page because I wanted to duplicate it. Can’t wait to try later this week!
    Thanks for posting

  3. TW

    My boyfriend, who lived in Lexington for nearly 20 years, said this dish was one of the things he missed most about Lexington. He now makes it a few times a month. Thank you!

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