There are a million ways to serve quinoa. Having greatly enjoyed lentil and other non-meat patties, I thought a version made with red quinoa and sweet cooked shrimp would certainly please. They were so good they didn't last long….I'm very sorry to see them go, but thankfully making a new batch is easy-peasy. Based on reviews at home, I am adding them to the rotation for frequent future appearances. —Melina Hammer
nine 3-inch patties
1 1/2 cups
red quinoa, cooked** and cooled to room temperature
9 to 12
shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces, and cooked
2 to 3 tablespoons
coarse bread crumbs
red onion, minced
cloves garlic, chopped
eggs (free-range if possible)
red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Greek yogurt, plus 1/2 cup for topping
**If you can spare the time to make stock from the shrimp shells and use that as the cooking liquid for the quinoa, you will have extra-shrimpy, even more flavorful patties.
In a good size bowl, fold together the quinoa, shrimp, eggs, onion, garlic, jalapeño, flax meal, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of greek yogurt, and salt and pepper until well combined.
If the mixture is too wet, add more flax meal or bread crumbs. If it is too dry, add a little water or a bit more yogurt. This is not an exact science -- It is important that the mixture binds together, but you don't want it cakey.
Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and harissa paste; I like to partially mix, so that some of the experience is creamier yogurt, and some is more fiery/savory harissa. Do as you like in combining them. Place back in the refrigerator until ready to top the patties.
Over medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet, sear the patties in a glug of good olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes on the first side. Cook spaced judiciously but without crowding the pan.
You're looking for a nicely crisped surface without any blackening. Use a spatula and flip, browning the second side for 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust heat as needed so that you get golden brown, crispy-edged patties, and of course, add more olive oil as needed as you cook subsequent rounds.
Serve patties dolloped with the harissa yogurt and serve with a zingy cucumber salad or other crunchy, juicy vegetable.
When she's not cooking, styling, and shooting her own creations for her blog Licking the Plate, Melina loves making food look its best for the New York Times, Eating Well, Sweet Paul, Edible, and other folks who love real food. Decidedly a good food champion, she wrote the cookbook Kid Chef to empower foodie kids (and kids-at-heart) in the kitchen. http://amzn.to/1XmaEgB