The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!
Take One: Fish Cakes.
I decided to start the month with one of the provided recipes and so made tuna and rice patties. I do like fish cakes, and there is something satisfying about feeding a family of 5 (3 of them teens/preteens) with one can of fish. Perhaps it's my Scottish ancestry coming into play.
The can of tuna was filled out with white rice, chopped spinach, corn kernels, and bread crumbs. Binding (a must in any patties, lest they collapse into a crumbly mess) was provided by eggs, and the flavors were added with hot chili paste, oyster sauce, green onions, and sweet chili sauce.
I also learned what I started calling The Best Patty Tip Ever: rather than relying on my eyeballing of portion sizes and shapes (and typically failing miserably at any attempts at evenness), I made the patties in a half-cup measuring cup, just like making sand castles in the old days. Pack it in, shake it out, and voilà - a perfect one every time. They were coated with more bread crumbs, and fried in the skillet.
Delicious! Definitely a make again, and good even as leftovers. There weren't many of those, though, as the cakes were quickly snapped up as second helpings.
Take Two: Quinoa Patties
I love cooking with quinoa as a healthy protein source, and figured it would work well in this medium. I decided to make something up as I went along, and came up with a Mexican-style patty that we all loved. Quinoa, corn kernels, cornmeal, and rice, bound again with eggs, color and flavor from red, green and jalapeno peppers, and seasoned with chili powder and cumin. I used the sandcastle technique (thank you for this, Lis and Audax!) again, breaded the patties in cornmeal, and fried 'em up. A little salsa verde on top, and we were set to go.
They were great! The texture was too crumbly to have gone in a bun, but they held together just fine for eating with a fork. We liked the taste, as I madly tried to remember just what I had put in them so I could repeat the new recipe. These, again, had the added appeal of being a very cost-effective way to feed our family. We've had them once since.
Take Three: MEAT.
|Before: they look normal enough, if a little lumpy.|
Oh. My. Goodness. I will confess to sitting, paused mid-chew, at the first bite.
All three gave variety, will-try-again recipes, and this month gave me a new understanding of the elements of it so I'll be able to improvise more in the future. Thanks for a great challenge!
I'm still thinking about those steak burgers.... yummmm.