Quinoa Black Bean Croquettes with Chili Lime Aioli

Guys, this is a relatively involved recipe, much more so than typical meals around here, but it’s worth it.  So, so worth it.  John LOVED them. It would be much easier if you have an awesome blender or big food processor that you can just throw all the ingredients into.  Make a double or triple batch and store in the freezer for quick lunches or dinners.  This is based on a recipe from 101 Cookbooks.  Hers calls for feta cheese, and if no one in your house is allergic to dairy, I would strongly recommend throwing in some feta, grated cheddar or chevre.

This makes croquettes that actually stick together and don’t crumble into little pieces all over the place (both baking and cooking in a pan on the stove) and has a really nice, chewy, meaty texture.  I am in love with these.  I kept the seasoning pretty simple (just salt and some cajun spice) so I can fix these up with different toppings– like chili lime aioli, chutney and brie, ketchup and mustard, etc.

Ingredients  (makes about 10 small croquettes– it’s worth doubling)

1 c. quinoa cooked, room temperature (about 3/4 c. uncooked maybe?)

1/2 t. sea salt

3 eggs

1/4 c. green onion, finely chopped (optional)

1/2 c. onion, finely diced

1/4 c. grated carrot (or finely chopped kale, etc.)

1/3 c. mashed black beans (almost any kind of bean would work fine)

2-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 T cajun seasoning (optional)

3/4 c. bread crumbs (I made my own from bread heels– just drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder and bake for about 20 minutes at 250, turning the pieces occasionally.  Break into pieces, allow to cool, and then pulse in a food processor or put in a ziplock bag and roll gently with a rolling pin)

1/2 t. baking powder

3 T extra virgin olive oil (or omit and add some cheese!)

3 T flour

1. Add salt and eggs to quinoa and stir well until blended.  Add onions, garlic, spices, black beans, carrot, and oil/cheese.  Mix well.

2.  Add bread crumbs and baking powder, and flour.  Let the bread crumbs sit for a few minutes to soak the liquids in.  The mixture should be fairly moist.  As I was making the patties I was worried that it was too wet, but it turned out perfectly.  If it’s too moist, though, add some more bread crumbs, and if it’s too dry, add a little more oil.

3. Form into patties 2-3 cm thick, place on a parchment paper-lined or greased baking sheet, and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  Flip them over and cook for 5-8 minutes more on the other side.  (You can also cook them in a pan on the stove with a little butter or olive oil, like I did with the one that didn’t fit on the baking sheet.) (Below is a picture of what they look like uncooked)

I made a little chili lime aioli to top these with (mayonnaise, lime juice, and a dash of cayenne and black pepper) and I’m not going to lie, it was amazing. (Ok, so it’s not a real aioli, it’s the cheater’s version, but if you are feeling really ambitious you could make some from scratch.)


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