Monday, June 3, 2013

Little Quinoa Patties

I've made quinoa patties before, using a slightly different recipe (one that is gluten-free if you want to check it out). I honestly can't remember which one is better because I made the other one almost two years ago. But I do remember that I liked them both. Last time we dipped them in a delightful red pepper mayonnaise. This time we dipped them two sauces: tzatziki and chipotle-chili tartar sauce. What I really appreciate most about quinoa is that it acts and tastes like a grain (technically it isn't), which satisfies the carb lover in me, but it's high in protein, so I feel good about having it as a main course. If you make an interesting enough dipping sauce and form the patties even tinier, I think they'd make a cute hors d'oeuvre.

Makes 20 little patties

2 1/2 cups cooked* quinoa, at room temperature
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or gruyère (or 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter as needed

1.      Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into approximately twenty 3-inch (1-inch thick) patties. If the patties are too moist, you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture. If they are too dry, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture. The quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days.
2.      In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high, heat just enough oil to coat the bottom. Add the quinoa patties (in batches if necessary) and cook until the bottoms are deeply browned, about 8-10 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until the patties are browned on the other side.
3.      Remove patties from the skillet and cool on paper towels.
*To cook quinoa: Combine 1 cup of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues. Drain if any water remains and then return to the pot. Let stand covered for 10-15 minutes, then fluff with fork.

slightly adapted from Epicurious (originally from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson)
raw quinoa
rinsed quinoa in the pot with water and salt
cooked quinoa (already fluffed with a fork)
cooled quinoa and egg
adding the onion, garlic, chives and feta
adding breadcrumbs
patties frying
patties flipped
patties cooling off
quinoa patty dipped in tzatziki
(we also dipped some in chipotle-chili tartar sauce)

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