Appetizer, Italian, Sides and Snacks

Risotto Cakes with salvaged over cooked rice

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This dish will be a great addition to your hors d’oeuvres offering while entertaining guests or can serve as a weekend snack at home. This will not qualify for a simple quickie dish but with a little extra work, it provides a very appealing appetizer to serve for the Holidays or any celebration.

Often times we end up with food or ingredients which dont meet the mark to be served as is. One such ingredient which sometimes ends up being over done is Rice ! We being heavy rice consumers, this happens regularly. Especially when we try to mix rice and other grains to make it wholesome, the water ratio goes off, sometimes !

Recently I bought some golden quinoa from a new brand. We always cook quinoa and brown rice together and consume it as a staple main course. This particular quinoa somehow made the rice mushy when cooked together. What do you do when you have loads of overcooked quinoa and brown rice ? Risotto Cakes 🙂

What are Risotto cakes – leftover risotto is recycled by making it into round patties coated with bread crumbs and deep fried to a golden color and served as an appetizer.

Why not make risotto cakes from scratch. But only better – no deep frying. Lets bake them ! Here we go …. first pressure cook potatoes along with a variety of vegetables – I used a bag of frozen mixed vegetables such as peas, carrots, corn and green beans. Once the vegetables are done, mash them coarsely with a potato masher. Lets start to make the cake mixture – Saute onions and green peppers with garlic and dump in the mashed vegetables. Finally add the rice+ quinoa mixture. Add plenty of salt and seasoning – I used bold spicy taco seasoning to give it a southwestern flavor. Using some ‘elbow grease’ mix very well until everything seems combined. Shape this into palm-size patties, coat completely in breadcrumbs. Line them up on a parchment paper and bake.

These risotto cakes have a very crispy outside and chewy inside. With a mixture of wholegrains and vegetables they can be consumed with no guilt. Go for them !

Risotto cakes recipe

Ingredients –

  • Brown Rice 1 cup
  • Quinoa 1 cup
  • Potato 3 large
  • Mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, cauliflower etc.)
  • Onion (chopped) 1 large
  • Green pepper (chopped) 1 large
  • Garlic (sliced) 3-4 pods
  • Cilantro (chopped) 2 tbsps
  • Southwest seasoning 3-4 tbsps
  • Breadcrumbs (as needed to coat) 4 cups

Procedure –

  1. Cook brown rice and quinoa together in a rice cooker with an extra cup of water so that it gets a little over cooked
  2. Pressure cook the potatoes and vegetables, cool and mash coarsely
  3. Start a large skillet on the stove, add olive oil liberally (Remember this is the only fat for the dish, we are not deep frying ! )
  4. Saute the chopped onions, add the green peppers and garlic
  5. Next add the mashed vegetables and give it a good mix
  6. Finally add the rice, quinoa mixture
  7. Now add salt and add seasoning liberally. Add cilantro
  8. Mix very well and add oil if needed to make it moist
  9. Next oil hands (this helps make the patties easily without sticking) and shape the mixture into round patties about 4 inches in diameter,
  10. Coat all around in bread crumbs and layer on a parchment paper
  11. Bake at 400 degrees hot oven for 20 minutes on top rack
  12. Then remove from oven, carefully flip all the patties and return to oven on lower rack for another 20 minutes
  13. Remove and check for crunchy and firm patties. If needed repeat process of baking in oven on upper rack for 5 mins, flip and return to lower rack for 5 mins, until the required crispiness is achieved.

Serve with a spicy tomato ketchup !

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