A few weeks ago I went on a big craft binge, bookmarking hundreds of sites for future use and in Etsy's blog, I found a recipe for quinoa croquettes and cilantro-yogurt sauce. I'd never heard of quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") which is a grain that is very good for getting protein. The night before I made it, I had the most bizarre dream about trying to find quinoa the night before, involving me going to a little town market (Boney's Bayside here in Coronado) which told me they didn't have it, then trying to find a Whole Foods that carried it. The dream was so realistic I almost gave up before I started. Boney's Bayside did have it, and I didn't even have to wash it as it was pre-washed. I bought the scallions (same thing as green onions, in case anyone else is confused), a zucchini (which is the same as a zucchini squash), pre-shredded carrots and parsley. I did NOT use grapeseed oil, but normal canola oil. For the sauce I bought cilantro, an onion, plain yogurt and since I couldn't find ume plum vinegar (available at whole foods) I used normal rice wine vinegar.
|This recipe makes A LOT of sauce!|
|What the sauce looks like when finished|
I made the sauce first, which was pretty simple. Using my combination blender/food processor I put the cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar and cubed onion into the food processor and blended until it was smooth. I then added the yogurt and the olive oil and blended again. Depending on the size of your food processor, I recommend using a blender. My food processor wasn't quite large enough and the sauce ended up leaking from the top when it was blending, so I had a bit of clean up already. I moved the sauce to a tupperware and stuck it in the fridge until dinner was done.
I then began on the croquettes. The boiled quinoa looked a bit like couscous or a risotto when it was cooked. You combine 1 cup with quinoa with 2 cups of water, bring it to a boil then simmer, covered, until the water is completely absorbed. After allowing the quinoa to cool a bit, mix the julienned carrot and zucchini, garlic powder, salt, parsley, egg and flour. When it's well mixed, form then into little patties about the size of a crab cake.
Add enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom. Heat it up and you can get your husband to fry the quinoas in batches until they're browned on each side. The recipe said this should take 3-4 minutes, but James and I found it took more like 6-7 minutes a side. Just keep an eye on them, and let them get crispy. Add additional oil as needed, and when you're done, you'll end up with a dozen or so croquettes that look like this: Place them on a paper towel (or a paper bag according to the recipe) to absorb some of the oil and serve them with the cilantro-yogurt sauce. Absolutely delicious. I had one cold the next day for a snack, and finished the last few for a light lunch the next day, and they were just as good as they were fresh. Just reheat them in a toaster oven is possible. If you use the recipe for the sauce, you will have a TON of sauce left over. It would be great as a salad dressing or a drip for veggies or plain potato chips.
|Brie Soup mmmm|
I also served a brie soup as a side for this dinner. I found the recipe on MuggleNet (yes I am a bit obsessed with Harry Potter--when will they be released as e-books??) and decided that since I love brie and soup I would love brie soup. I made sure I had all the ingredients: butter, onion, celery, flour, chicken stock (or broth), brie cheese, and half-and-half. After dicing the onions and celery, sautee them in the butter until the onions become translucent. Whisk in the flour and allow it to cook/heat for 3 minutes (it may seem like it's burning, so keep stirring it) and then gradually whisk in the chicken broth. I cannot stress how important it is to keep stirring and do this gradually--it helps prevent lumps. Let the soup tender for about 15 minutes (until the celery is tender) and then stir in the brie cheese cubes and give it time to melt a bit. 12 oz (.75 lb) but I only used .6 lb of brie (the largest I could find) and it tasted quite brie-ish enough. Now, mugglenet tells you to use a blender for the soup, but having had some experience with hot liquids in blenders, I decided that I would use an immersion blender. The cheese is kinda hard to clean off, but, as we discovered while washing it, my immersion blender has a detachable blending attachment, so that will make it easy for the next time. Use the immersion blender until the soup is smooth and then stir in the half-and-half, season with salt and pepper and serve warm with a baguette. (There is a recipe for the baguette, but I just used a store bought one...I'd had enough cooking.)
It's a good soup, but it is very rich. And it makes enough for like 3 or 4 people to eat. James didn't care for the taste (he doesn't like brie) so we had a bunch left over. I think that if you mixed it in with mashed potatoes it would taste really good, but I haven't done this yet, so it's all in theory. It wasn't fantastic with the croquettes, but it would be really nice on a stormy night...if you like brie.