10.15.2013

fun with food : quinoa balls


so, this one time, while we were still doing the whole seattle-spokane thing, aaron and i decided to spend a date night at manito tap house.  our eyes came across an appetizer involving cheese, frying food, and quinoa.  surely it would be delicious!

now, the handful of times i've ever had quinoa was when it was served plain, and only when i was out at a restaurant.  i always enjoyed it, and made a mental note in my head to someday try making some at home.


the server brought out 4 walnut-sized, fried balls on a bed of greens and a side of Thai aioli and stout aioli.  i probably could have eaten all 4 to myself.  i was secretly hoping that aaron wouldn't like it (since he had indicated to me in the past that he was not interested in quinoa), but to my dismay he happily ate his share.  we both enjoyed the dish so much that we both began throwing around ideas of how we could make it at home, and some changes we would make to make the dish even more to our liking (a.k.a. more cheese).
 
so 2-ish months later i bought myself my first bag of quinoa, and experiment with my own version of manito tap house's "quinoa balls." [okay, they really need to re-do the name, because my immaturity shows its face every time i read that!]

it's not exactly the same, but they were just as good.  i promise i'm not just saying that because i made it.  haha.  the whole family LOVED it, and there were no left overs.  not even a crumb.

now usually, when i do up my own "thing" with food, i never have the foresight to write down the measurements of all the ingredients i use.  this means, when i try to make it again, it doesn't taste exactly the same as the last time. but this time i must have had some extra coffee or something, because i remembered to write down the amounts of all the ingredients i used so that if it turned out crappy this time around i can refer to the recipe and change things as needed.


and this also means i have something concrete that i can share with you! a real recipe, with measurements and everything, so that you can try it at home.  enjoy!

:: fried quinoa balls ::
inspired by manito tap house's quinoa balls

Yields: 24-26 balls


3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup bread crumbs
1-1.5 cups mozzarella cheese
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried rosemary (or you can use fresh)
1-2 tsp garlic powder (or mince some fresh garlic which would be super yummy)
2 eggs

Combine all the ingredients listed and mix together.  You can mix it with a spoon, but I found using my hands did the job much better.  Take some of the quinoa mixture and begin rolling into walnut-size balls, maybe a little smaller.  Place the quinoa balls on a cookie sheet or a piece of wax paper. Heat a skillet to medium heat and fill with about 1/4 inch of oil. If you have a deep-frier then I would fry these babies in there until golden brown.  I have a deep-frier, but I was too lazy to dig mine out so I used the cast-iron skillet instead. Place a few of the balls in the skillet (I could fit about 8 in mine) and cook until golden brown. Be sure to rotate the balls so that all sides are equally browned and crispy.  Place the cooked quinoa balls on a plate lined with a paper towel (or cloth) to absorb some of the excess oil.  Serve on a bed of spring greens and honey mustard dressing for dipping. 

:: honey mustard dressing :: 

dijon mustard or some other fancy-pants mustard 
mayonnaise
honey
   
Sadly, I did not write down the measurements for the ingredients in this recipe, but I'm sure you can figure it out!

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