Lucky Comestible II (3): Quinoa-Oatmeal Croquettes
April 9, 2008
[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I’ll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days. For this second entry, I’m focusing on Quinoa. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. ]
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“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.”
You guys are too funny!
I would never have guessed that my silly little comment about quotation marks at the end of yesterday’s post could spark so many witty comebacks. Well, quotation marks be damned! Now that I’m officially *back,* I’ll just have to reach waaaay %back % into my punctuation quiver and pick out a few other sharp marks and symbols. And so, right ++BACK++ at ya!
For now, though, I must hold myself >bAcK< and will no longer tap my spinal woes as a source of humor (though the original Spinal Tap, on the other hand, provides its own endless source of punny laughs). And now, let’s get back to today’s Lucky Comestible!
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’re likely already familiar with my penchant for breakfast foods. The morning repast is, unequivocally, my favorite meal of the day. So how could I go through five different recipes featuring quinoa and NOT include at least one targeted breafast dish?
I’ve already covered a baked good with the Almond-Quinoa Muffins; today, I’ve repurposed Lisa’s amazing Quinoa and Oatmeal Croquettes recipe for a breakfasty-sweet usage rather than the delectable savory meal (smothered in a rich mushroom sauce) that she originally wrote about. Luckily, the recipe is super-easy and employs ingredients I already had on hand, so I was able to whip these up without having to head to the supermarket, which would have undoubtedly strained my finances patience relationship (Oh, just SAY IT:) BACK .
I’ve always thought of croquettes as somewhat pear-shaped orbs that sit under a thick slathering of creamy sauce. As a kid, my mom sometimes made chicken croquettes, which involved grinding, mixing, and shaping the mounds of seasoned chicken before rolling them in breadcrumbs and baking them, after which they were doused with à la King sauce (ie, canned cream of mushroom soup) that had a handful of frozen peas thrown in. Representative of the times, but hardly worth the effort, I always thought.
When I saw Lisa’s recipe, I was a little surprised at the form of these croquettes. Like that iconic fast-food hamburger, they were square rather than round; and like the proverbial bank heist-without-a-hitch, they were almost too easy: simply cook up, spread in pan, then cut into shape. I suppose I could have used a cookie cutter to approximate a rounded shape, but why bother? Who said croquettes have to be round, anyway?
What I like about these little darlings is that the quinoa is very evident–not a co-star, but the main attraction. The oats, while present, don’t really determine much of the overall flavor; rather, they seem to bind the croquettes together instead. The mixture reminded me very much of a polenta in texture and preparation; but the taste was, to my mind, very well suited to breakfast.
And so, still limited by the few ingredients I actually had in the house after the GBR, I pulled out some homemade cranberry preserves as a topper and set about heating these in the griddle for breakfast. I was very well rewarded with a nubby-textured, moist and chewy croquette highlighted by the occasional crunch, courtesy of sesame seeds sprinkled over top. The slightly sweet, slightly tart jam was the perfect accompaniment. These would also be divine with maple syrup, I think. Oh, and mushroom sauce (as Lisa suggests) too, of course.
Quick, hearty, and substantial, these are the perfect breakfast bites. If you’re in a hurry, you can even wrap them up and take them along. And, as Lisa suggests, they make a great base for a savory sauce, too.
1 cup dry quinoa
1 cup rolled or steel-cut oats (I used rolled oats)
3 cups water
1/4 tsp. sea salt
sesame seeds, as needed
olive oil, as needed
If desired, rinse the quinoa to remove the bitter outer resin (I didn’t bother, as I assume most quinoa these days is pre-rinsed; but if you want to be safe, go ahead). Place in a glass casserole or pan along with the 3 cups water, cover, and soak overnight in the fridge.
The next day, grease a 9 x 9 inch square pan with olive oil or nonstick spray. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized pot and stir in the sea salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until it has the consistency of a thick porridge, about 25-30 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes, to let the mixture cool and firm up (I left it for about 4 hours). Cut the mixture in to cubes of desired size (I cut the contents of the pan into 20 small cubes).
Lightly oil a frying pan with the olive oil, and fry the cubes on both sides until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Transfer to a plate and serve with fruit preserves of your choice. Makes 4-5 servings. Will keep for 4 days, covered, in the fridge.
Other Posts in this Series:
Lucky Comestible II (1): Quinoa Salad with Buckwheat and Cranberries
Lucky Comestible II (2): Almond-Quinoa Muffins
Other Quinoa Recipes:
(Got a quinoa recipe? Send me the link during this Lucky Comestible week, and I’ll add it to the list!)