Sunday, May 2, 2010

So now that I've kissed meat goodbye . . . what's for dinner?

When I married Josephus, he was a vegetarian.  I think it was for health reasons, I never really delved too far into it.  He was not into vegetarian activism thankfully.  He was not trying to save the earth.  Eating animals was not mean, as far as he was concerned.  He did have one membership with PETA which was a deal breaker for me and then he dropped it.  Eventually, through the power of tuna fish salad he returned to the meat eating world after 4 years of marriage and now 7 years later, we have given up meat together.

Eventually, I will write a post on how letting my husband be in charge makes our family work better, but not tonight at nearly 2 a.m..

When I was originally cooking meatless, I remember feeling like there was no main dish and making up for it with 5 or 6 different sides.  Back then I would cook for hours.  We typically ate dinner after 9 p.m..  We are not very avant garde folk, so this was a challenging time.  This time I feel like I've got a better handle on what makes dinner (not to mention, keeping to a regular dinner time).  With that I bring you this tasty treat from the Etsy blog:

Quinoa Croquettes with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
by Anna Getty

Quinoa (pronounced "KEEN-wah") is one of my favorite grains. It's high in protein, low in acid, and has a beautiful nutty flavor. It is an ancient Incan grain, which the Incas believed was a grain from the gods. Look for heirloom varieties with the fair trade symbol. Fair trade ensures that farmers are being fairly compensated for their labor.
Before cooking, make sure to rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer to remove the bitter outer coating. The tartness of the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, made with Japanese plum vinegar, is the perfect accompaniment to these crispy croquettes. The sauce is so tasty that I increased the recipe a bit so you'll have extra sauce on hand.

Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ume plum vinegar
1 small white onion, quartered (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups plain yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil

Quinoa Croquettes:
1 cup quinoa, washed thoroughly
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on medium holes
1 small zucchini, grated on medium holes
1 scallion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 sprigs fresh parsley, stemmed and minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Grapeseed oil for cooking

Serves 6
  1. To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, and onion in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stop the motor and add the yogurt and olive oil. Blend until creamy. Transfer the sauce to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. To make the croquettes, combine the rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
  3.  When cool add the carrot, zucchini, scallion, garlic powder, salt, parsley, egg, and flour. Mix well. Using your hands, form the mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.
  4. Pour just enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan, and heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches, lay the quinoa cakes in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. (You can probably cook 5 to 6 patties at once.) When the cakes are golden, turn them over and cook until the second side is golden. (Check by lifting up a side with a spatula.) Add additional oil as needed, and remove any brown bits that accumulate in the pan as you cook.
  5. Remove the cakes from the pan and place them on a plate lined with a recycled brown paper bag. Serve hot, drizzled with the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce. Or put the yogurt sauce in a bowl for dipping. Top the cakes with grated carrot and zucchini.

1 comment:

Matushka said...

Well now, there's always beans and rice. Never underestimate the joy of a killer burrito! ;)