- quinoa cakes
- 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups whole grain bread crumbs
- Water, if needed
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
- lemon-garlic aioli
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt (to taste)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup light fruity olive oil
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the onion, queso fresco, cumin and red pepper flakes. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch patties. Nicole and I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.
Heat half the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 6 patties, if they'll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you repeat with the remaining patties. Alternatively, the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.
Press the garlic through a press and combine with the salt in a medium metal bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks, water, and lemon juice. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 140F for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the water. Whisking occasionally, cool the mixture to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Place the mixture in a food processor and turn on. Gradually pour the oil mixture in a thin slow stream until the aioli is thick. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.