Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quinoa Cakes with Farmer's Market Riot

Everyone knows there are countless kitchen appliances and gadgets that have just a few uses, and clutter the cabinets. I tend to suffer from this problem, and have converted my guest bedroom closet to my baking/catering supplies closet. While I was in there a few weeks ago, I found two of my favorite kitchen appliances that I tend to forget about: my ice cream maker and my electric skillet. I've used griddles on the stove top before, but they don't heat evenly like the skillet does. And it's so easy to transport to any part of the kitchen. Growing up, I remember my mom used hers for mainly brunches, pancakes, omelette's, bacon, it was perfect!  
When I stumbled across this recipe, it looked like it was going to take quite a few pots and pans. A light bulb went off in my head, why not use the electric skillet to make the whole meal in one-ish pot? Whenever I make pancakes or bean cakes I love using the skillet because it's nonstick, and I've pretty much gotten rid of every nonstick pan I own (the whole Teflon/cancer debate kind of freaks me out, so I'd rather not even have it in my house). Since I only use this skillet every month or so, and with a silicon spatula, I'm fairly confident that I'm not contaminating myself!
So the recipe! I first starred it in my google reader because it featured quinoa cakes, something I've not made before. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I love quinoa because it's like a protein and starch in one, similar to a bean. I'm constantly looking for new ways to cook up beans. I've made just about every bean-cake you could imagine, so it seemed like quinoa was the next step. 
I also absolutely loved how the dish was served with an abundance of fresh vegetables, some hot, some cold, prepared with different flavors, yet married together by fresh flavors and contrasting textures. This meal is a rainbow of colors, flavors, temperatures and health benefits. 

Quinoa Cakes with Farmer's Market Riot
adapted from Herbivoracious

Quinoa Cakes:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. fresh minced oregano (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 egg whites

Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve, rinse under cold running water for one minute, until water runs clear.
Add stock to a small pot, bring to a boil, add quinoa.
Turn heat to medium, partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
Turn heat off, let quinoa sit for 5 minutes (water should be evaporated)
Add remaining ingredients to a mixing bowl, whisk to combine.
Add cooled quinoa, mix to distribute spices and egg well. 
Heat electric skillet over medium-high heat, or around 375*
Scoop quinoa mixture out with an ice cream scoop into mounds on the skillet (I got 6 cakes)
Press down with a spatula, cover and cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad:
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1 beefsteak tomato, seeded and diced
Salt and cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a small dish, refrigerate until using.

Spicy Corn Relish:
1 tsp. EVOO
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. red chili flakes
1 cup fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
1/2 lime, juiced

Heat skillet over high, add oil, garlic, onion and chili flakes and cook for a minute.
Add the corn, salt and coriander, sauté' for 3-4 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings.
Spoon into a bowl, sprinkle with lime juice and set aside.

Pan-Fried Zucchini

1 tbsp. EVOO
1 lb. small zucchini, cut into rounds
Salt and black pepper

Add oil to skillet over high heat, add zucchini, salt and pepper.
Sauté' for 5 minutes, until browned and softened.

To serve:
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled cheese (I used goat cheese)

Place quinoa cakes on plate, spoon each of 3 salad components on the side, top with cilantro and goat cheese.


Cara said...

I love how colorful this is! Looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

This whole meal looks absolutley fantastic! Yum!

Sophie @ yumventures said...

LOVE the one skillet dish!! Amazing with so many veggies :)

Toni said...

That is one good looking meal! I love the colors and all the fresh flavors thrown in together.

Dawn said...

Wow! Great dish. I need to try quinoa cakes when I have some left over.