Monday, January 30, 2012

Who Doesn't Love Cake(s)?

I just had to share these three recipes.  Do NOT ask me why this post is formatted so crazy.  I tried to fix and I GIVE UP!!!!!  enJOY as it IS!!!!

Recipe #1

Most people have no idea what Quinoa is, never mind how to prepare it.  First of all it's not pronounced QUI-NOAH.  It's "keen-wa" - just so you know.  Anyway - it's pretty simple.  Boil 2 cups of water, add 1 cup of quinoa and simmer for about 12 minutes or until absorbed.  Then you can mix in all sorts of vegies and/or herbs and spices or a vinegarette.  It pretty much takes on the flavor of what you mix it with.  Google it!  Hundreds of recipes.  But THIS one is really awesome.  These Quinoa Cakes kick butt especially with the special sauce"!  FYI - use greek yogurt instead of mayo for the aioli.  Soo delish!  Oh and one other thing - I think there's too much black pepper in the recipe so I would cut it in half unless you really dig spicy, spicy hot black pepper flavor.  I DO and it was still too much.

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes with a Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli
Makes 10 to 12
2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cup grated fontina cheese
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
½ cup light mayonnaise
1 head of garlic, roasted
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1. For the cakes: Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Pour oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat.
3. Form ¼ cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan. (this will have to be done in batches)
4. Cook quinoa cakes for about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked. Set aside.
5. For the aioli: Place all ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside the warm quinoa cakes.
Recipe #2
I was very surprised how much I loved these cakes.  Try them!  So yum!  I found it on a great blog called Once Upon a Plate.

Chicken Cakes with Sweet Chilli Sauce* Drizzle

Makes about 10 medium or 20 small cakes (this of course will depend upon the size of the cakes you make.)

This is such a quick recipe to put together with the help of your food processor. You'll find the coconut cream makes these brown very quickly so to assure they stay juicy and flavorful without burning, brown them briefly in a pan (stove top), then transfer the patties to a sheet pan and finish cooking for a few minutes in a 325* (F) oven for about 5 minutes, or until they spring back when touched. With this two step cooking method you get the nice brown exterior without drying out the interiors while assuring that they cook through.

- About 12 ounces lean skinless chicken, roughly chopped (You can use boneless thighs, I usually use chicken breasts) *
- 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, or fresh basil leaves, or parsley leaves
- 1 scallion (green onion), both white and green parts, finely sliced
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon (use your microplane)
- 2 tablespoons sweet Thai chilli sauce, from the bottle ~ I use Mae Ploy brand)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce, or 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 egg white
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup coconut cream (I use Coco Lopez brand, from the can)

Optional --
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
- Jalapeno, or other hot pepper, finely minced *

- Canola, or other flavorless oil for frying

Place all ingredients, except coconut cream and oil, in food processor fitted with the metal blad and pulse to a coarse purée. With motor running, add coconut cream mix until evenly combined.

Cook in batches:

Heat a lightly oiled, non-stick frypan and cook small scoopfuls* of mixture 2-3 minutes each side over medium heat until cooked through and springy to the touch. Serve on rocket leaves and accompany with Sweet Chilli Sauce, Avocado Salsa or Basil Oil

Optional to serve:

Additional Sweet Chilli Sauce (I always drizzle this lightly over all), or Salsa, Guacamole, or Basil Oil.


These can be made and cooked up to a day ahead, then cooled, covered and refrigerated. When ready to serve reheat for just a couple of minutes in a hot oven, until heated through...but don't let them dry out. I tent them very loosely with
a piece of foil to slow down the escape of steam while they are reheating.

 Recipe #3

I used to really love to go to Chili's Restaurant.  I adored the salsa and chips and ALWAYS ordered the Caribbean Chicken Salad.  Well - they took that salad off the menu and I no longer go there.  But I still crave the salsa.  Well!  I found it on line!  Or its twin anyway.  Love this.  AND, oddly enough, it's made with canned tomatoes which I would never have thought to use.  Give it a try.  It takes all of 5 minutes!


Chili's Copycat Salsa Recipe:

2 cans (14.5 oz each) whole tomatoes, drained
1 small (4 oz) can diced or whole jalapenos (not pickled)--about 4-5 jalapenos (or less if you don't like a lot of spice)
1/4 c. yellow onion, cut into quarters (you can also use dried minced onion)
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt (depending on how much you prefer)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lime juice

Place all of the ingredients together into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips.

                                        FOOD JOY!