Sunday, April 1, 2012

Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs

One of my favorite breakfasts would probably be eggs benedict. I consider it the grown-up version of the "sunny side up" eggs I had when I was a kid. Perfectly runny yolks for dipping buttered toast just transformed into perfectly runny yolks and soft egg white on top of warm ham on an English muffin. This quinoa cake with poached egg reminds me of eggs benedict - for dinner. Serve it with a salad for a nice simple meal.
Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs
2 cups quinoa, cooked and at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely copped 
1/3 cup chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil (for frying)
shaved Parmesan
poached eggs

Combine the quinoa, eggs, garlic, salt, shallots, and chives in a large bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese until evenly incorporated. Form into patties about three to four inches in diameter.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the patties so they don't touch and you still have room to flip them (work in batches if you need to). Cook the patties until they are golden brown on the first side. Then carefully flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). Drain on a paper towel. Keep warm while you poach the eggs.

Here's my method for poached eggs. In a deep skillet, heat about 1 1/2 inches of water until it's almost boiling (when bubbles start forming). Try to maintain that state, don't let it get to a "rolling boil." Add a few teaspoons of white vinegar and stir. Crack an egg in a small bowl. Then, in one motion. pour it quickly into the hot water. This will hopefully keep the white mostly together around the yolk. Use a rubber spatula to gently push the white around the yolk until it starts to get opaque. Cook for 3 minutes or until the white is set, but soft. Use a slotted spoon to very gently remove the egg from the water. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may be able to do several eggs at a time or you may need to work in batches.

Place each quinoa cake on a plate. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese and a poached egg. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a few chives. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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