Make the black beans
Rinse the beans and combine them in a 4-quart pot with the epazote (if using), garlic, and about 6 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce to the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour. Add 1 tsp. salt and simmer gently for another 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat and let them cool in their liquid.
Drain the cooked beans, reserving the liquid. Return the beans to the pot and add the cilantro, chipotle, cumin, and about 1 cup of the reserved bean liquid. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. The beans should be very moist; if necessary, add more bean liquid.
Make the griddlecakes
In a large bowl, sift the amaranth flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Whisk in the cornmeal and pine nuts.
Melt 2-1/2 Tbs. of the butter. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Stir in the chiles.
Melt the remaining 1/2 Tbs. butter in a 10-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the corn kernels, scallions, jalapeño, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, until the corn shows a few light-brown spots, about 5 minutes. Stir the corn mixture into the wet ingredients. (You can prepare the griddlecakes to this point up to 4 hours ahead.)
When ready to cook the cakes, combine the wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Heat about 2 tsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick pan or on a griddle over medium-high heat. Drop 1/4 cup of the batter at a time onto the hot pan and gently spread with the tip of a spoon to make 3-inch cakes. Cook the griddlecakes until tiny air bubbles begin to pop through the tops, 3 to 4 minutes; then flip them and cook until deep golden-brown and crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat until all of the batter is cooked.
Ladle the beans into shallow bowls and top with the griddlecakes.
Make Ahead Tips
You can prepare the beans up to 1 day ahead; refrigerate them in their liquid.
To make the black beans in a pressure cooker, combine the beans, water, epazote, and garlic as directed in the recipe. Add 2 Tbs. vegetable oil (recommended by Fagor to lessen foaming). Lock on the lid and bring the cooker to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, cook for 15 minutes. Release the pressure and taste a few beans for doneness. If not quite tender, bring the cooker back up to pressure (this will take only about a minute), cook for another 2 minutes, and check again. Finish the beans according to the recipe, but simmer them for only 5 minutes after adding the salt so they don’t overcook.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips