This is the result of Joe Yonan's adaptation of the first quinoa treatment he could get behind: little pan-fried cakes that make a great base for braised vegetables or a starchy accompaniment to salad or soup. Feel free to try various combinations of grains, as long as you end up with 2 cups total grains.
Make Ahead: The mixture needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight. The cakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Servings: 8 - 10
Yield: Makes 3-inch cakes
- 1 cup cooked, cooled pearled barley (see NOTE; may substitute cooked farro or brown rice)
- 1 cup cooked, cooled red or white quinoa (see NOTE)
- 1 cup plain dried bread crumbs
- 6 scallions, white and light-green parts, finely chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Stir together the barley, quinoa, bread crumbs, scallions, garlic, cheese, curry powder and salt in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the eggs, and, if needed, use your hands to knead the mixture until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight to chill, so the mixture is easier to form into patties.
When ready to cook, set a bowl of water next to the bowl containing the grain mixture. Dip your hands into the water before scooping up about 1/2 cup of the mixture and forming it into a 3-inch patty. Repeat with the remaining mixture, dipping your hands in the water if need be from time to time to prevent sticking.
Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 inch into a large skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, use a spatula to transfer a few patties to the skillet, being careful not to crowd them and working in batches if necessary. Pan-fry them on each side until crisp and deeply browned, 2 to 4 minutes per side, then transfer them to the rack to drain.
Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
NOTE: Both quinoa and barley are good to have on hand as a precooked ingredient to use in other dishes, but if you want to make just enough for this recipe, start with 1/3 cup of each. Both grains triple in size when cooked. To cook quinoa: Combine quinoa with twice as much water and soak for at least 15 minutes (or up to overnight), then drain. Combine 1 part quinoa with 1 1/4 parts water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. To cook barley: Bring one part barley and three parts water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the barley is tender and has absorbed almost all the liquid, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
From Yonan, author of "Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One" (Ten Speed Press, 2011), loosely based on a recipe in Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Every Day" (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Tested by Joe Yonan and Jane Touzalin.
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