I made these the other night when a few friends came over for flank steak. When my friend walked in and saw them on the table, he asked if they were crab cakes. Sorry to disappoint, Adam. I didn't love the quinoa cakes as much as crab cakes, especially the ones at Lynn's Bistro (If you live in the Seattle area, you HAVE to go have Lynn's crab cakes!). They're pretty unbeatable, and could quinoa ever win over crab?
I feel like I'm not doing a good job of selling this recipe. I got distracted by crab cakes. Getting back on track . . . These were REALLY tasty and kind of a fun and different side dish. I'll definitely be making them again.
A couple of pointers on quinoa . . .
- I used 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and it made enough to have 2 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa. You could probably get away with 3/4 cup uncooked and have enough.
- Rinse before cooking.
- I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth.
- Make sure the quinoa is cooled before you mix it in with the other ingredients. I ended up making two batches because I was impatient waiting for the quinoa to cool the first time around. The mixture was too wet even after adding lots of extra bread crumbs. The texture was MUCH better on the batch where the quinoa was completely cooled.
- I also found that the quinoa took longer to cook than the packaging said. The packaging said it would take 15-20 minutes, but it took more like 20-25 minutes.
- I ended up cooking the quinoa and then refrigerating it until the next day when I mixed the cakes. This is a better plan if you're impatient like me and don't want to wait around for it to cool.
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup finely crushed saltine or Ritz cracker or bread crumbs, plus more if needed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Stir in the parsley, cheese and garlic.
Add the cracker or bread crumbs. Stir the mixture until combined.
If the mixture seems too wet, add a tablespoon or two more of cracker or bread crumbs. If it seems too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water or broth.
Let it stand for about five minutes to allow the liquid to absorb.
Take small handfuls of the mixture and form into little patties, about 1-inch thick, yielding about 11 or 12 patties.
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until it is hot.
Add a single layer of patties (about half of them if you are using a 12-inch skillet) and cook until the bottoms are well-browned, about 5-7 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning (or increase heat if the patties aren’t browning well).
Flip the patties and cook about 5 minutes more until the second side is golden brown.
Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining patties (adding a bit more olive oil, if needed).
Serve warm or at room temperature and with ketchup, if you so desire.
Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe