Sunday, November 14, 2010

MOFO - Day 14 - Iron Chef - Quinoa

The iron chef ingredient this week is quinoa. Now I love quinoa in so many ways. I wanted to do something reflecting fall and Thanksgiving. I also managed to make it gluten free for my sensitive friends and readers. Quinoa is an amazing seed (it is not actually a grain). It is a complete protein all on its own which makes me love this cute little nutritionally packed ingredient even more.

I thought about making something very healthy, but seeing as I just acquired a brand new deep fryer, my inner fried food loving fiend won out. I was very pleased to discover that quinoa makes an incredibly crunchy coating for fried treats. To keep with the chile theme, I used two types of chiles in today's dish: hatch green chiles and serrano chiles.

Red Inca Quinoa Crusted Hatch Green Chile Croquettes with Serrano - Lime Cranberry Sauce

Serrano Cranberry Sauce

Makes just under 1 cup

1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup water
8 oz fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon tequila
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and finely minced

In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. place all ingredients in pan and simmer until thickened, stirring frequently. This should take between 15-20 minutes. Cranberries will pop as they cook. Be careful of splattering. Once thickened, remove from heat.

Red Inca Quinoa Crusted Hatch Green Chile Croquettes

Makes 20 croquettes

3 large cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced roasted Hatch chiles (you can sub any type of roasted green chiles)
1 1/2 cups roasted mashed sweet potatoes
3/4 cup corn flour
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cups cooked red inca quinoa

Preheat deep fryer or oil in deep pan (with enough oil to be 2 inches deep in pan).

In small saute pan over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in olive oil until onion is just soft, about 2-3 minutes. In large bowl, combine garlic, onion, chiles, sweet potatoes, corn flour and dry spices until well combined. Form 1 tablespoon of mixture into a ball.  Roll ball into cooked quinoa, coating evenly. You may have to press quinoa into ball. Carefully drop balls into oil. Do not crowd. Fry for 3-4 minutes until croquette is golden dark brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with toothpicks and side of cranberry sauce.


  1. These are AMAZING! I love that there's tequilla in the sauce.

  2. Thanks! The quinoa makes them nice and crunchy on the outside. The nice thing about the quinoa is that it stays more crunchy than other coatings I've used.

  3. Wow, they look perfect! I love quinoa but haven't cooked any in a while, this is getting bookmarked!

  4. I'm honored. I ate them cold today and the quinoa was still crunchy!

  5. Thanks! I made them again for Thanksgiving. They just have such a fun crunch!!