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Quinoa_2415

I recently had great fun doing a dinner for ShopRite (www.shoprite.com) supermarket executives and the bloggers that sing the praises of the market.  One of the products that were on my list of ingredients was a great tri-color quinoa.  I used it in these fritters and in a soup which I will share with you another time.  The fritters can be made into tiny patties and used for a cocktail tidbit, made into small patties and used as an appetizer, or made into big fat patties that can fill a pita bread or top a salad of winter greens.

Quinoa Fritters-Serves 4

Two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, well-drained and mashed
1 large egg, beaten, at room temperature
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
Salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot or small onion, peeled and minced
¾ cup finely chopped broccoli
1 teaspoon minced chile pepper or to taste
½ cup finely grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup minced fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 egg whites, beaten
3 cups panko bread crumbs

Combine the mashed beans with the egg in a mixing bowl, beating to blend well.   Set aside.
Combine the quinoa with 2 cups cold water in a medium saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Season with salt, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, shallot, broccoli, and chile and cook for another 5 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove from the heat and scrape into the mashed beans, stirring to blend completely.  Add the cheese and basil and stir to blend.  Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Place the egg whites in one large shallow bowl and the panko in another.  Set aside.
Using your hands, form the mixture into slightly-rounded patties.  You don’t want flat patties nor do you want balls.  Working with one at a time, roll the patties into the egg white and then into the panko bread crumbs.  Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Place the patties into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crisp.
The fritters may be served like falafel in a pita with a bit of salad and the dipping sauce.  Or, on top of salad greens and drizzled with the dipping sauce.

Yogurt-Herb Dipping Sauce – Makes about 1 cup

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
Hot sauce to taste

Combine the yogurt and mayonnaise with the lemon and orange juice.  Stir in the garlic, basil, and dill.  Season with hot sauce to taste.  Let stand for about 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

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