Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quinoa and Red Pepper Fritters

Fall has officially arrived and I'm in the mood to cook a lot more.   I want more comfort foods, and I know somebody who's happy to be on his little rug in the kitchen more often.

 My Cooking Assistant will return in a few weeks.  He's been spending too much time looking for discarded apples and catching up on naps.

He thinks he's king of the sofa.

Quinoa fritters is one of my favorite go-to recipes, especially when I'm craving something with texture.  I've made them before, here, and I adapted the original recipe from The South American Table, one of my favorite inspiring cookbooks. The original recipe listed cheese, but I dropped that and now this recipe changes every time I make it.  The only thing I haven't figured out is how to make these fritters vegan without adding soy.  I don't think I could get the right texture with tapioca flour or potato starch, so if anyone has any ideas about how to get them to hang together that let me know.

Peppers will soon be out of season, so stock up now.  River Farm dehydrates their peppers and seals them with a food sealer.  They sell them at the market through the winter.  I packages lasts a long time.  Sweet peppers can be diced, placed in plastic bags, inside glass jars and frozen.  Glass is less permeable to air and will delay freezer burn for a lot longer. 

Like tomatoes, peppers will turn red if they already have a bit of red on them when you bring them inside.  We lost a lot of peppers to earwigs this summer:(   I had no idea what the little holes in the peppers were, so I took them to the market where Liz from River Farm said they were earwigs, apparently one of the pests that loves peppers.  We saved a few but I'll have to find something to deter the earwigs next year.

Another thing I love about fall is garlic.  I used to get these fantastic garlic braids from Rent's Due Ranch, but they've gone from the market, so I've gathered a number of garlic bulbs, but the price has shot up so much that I'm much more frugal with it these days.  

What's the deal with garlic?  If it's so ridiculously easy to grow, what's with the high price? I know people don't usually talk about that but seriously I got it for $6 a pound in Oregon and here it's $12 to $14 a pound, no one sells it for less than $10 a pound anymore.

We get eggs from River Farm and farmer Jerry said they're quite yellow because the chickens wander all over, picking up grubs and other insects.  Even my assistant is impressed.

Here's the recipe:

Quinoa and Red Pepper Fritters
(Makes 9 or 10 fritters)

1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1 red pepper diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 cloves garlic, press
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
Freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten
Oil (canola, safflower or olive oil)

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add oil, onion and peppers.  Stir and cook until vegetables soften.  Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

Combine quinoa, breadcrumbs, walnuts, kalamata olives, and black pepper in a large bowl.  Blend in eggs, adding more quinoa or bread crumbs if mixture doesn't seem thick enough to hold together.

Pour enough oil in a heavy skillet to coat the bottom of the pan.  Heat skillet over medium heat.  Scoop about 1/4 cup quinoa and place in frying pan.  Flatten and cook for a few minutes or until lightly browned.  Flip and cook remaining side.  Serve with salsa.

I generally favor salsa for a topping but black bean chili runs a close second.  I hope you enjoy these fritters, I know someone who gave them four paws up!

1 comment:

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
Your Quinoa and Red Pepper Fritters look wonderful and so full of flavors that we love. I can't wait to try these. Tell Finn we will miss him.
I wanted to share with you that we got a Rescue Dog named Max yesterday. He will be making an appearance very soon. We are so excited!
Hope you had a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen