Quinoa Mac-And-Cheese Balls

By Nechama Norman

1 cup quinoa
1¾ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ cup mozzarella
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
3 broccoli florets, finely diced
Flour Mixture
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sugarEgg Mixture
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons milk

panko crumbs

  1. Rinse quinoa well. Place quinoa in a 3-quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let quinoa steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Remove ¾ cup cooked quinoa from pot (you only need 1 ¼ cups cooked quinoa for this recipe, though it is difficult to cook less than 1 cup well. Reserve extra quinoa for another use).
  3. While quinoa is still hot, add butter, garlic powder, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, salt, mustard, and broccoli. Mix well until butter and cheese melt. Roll mixture into 18 to 24 balls. Place balls in a baking pan and place in refrigerator to set.
  4. Prepare the flour mixture. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, black pepper, and sugar.
  5. Prepare the egg mixture. In a second bowl, whisk together eggs, hot sauce, and milk.
  6. Place panko crumbs in a third bowl. Place chilled balls first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, then in the panko crumbs. Return balls to fridge until ready to fry.
  7. Heat oil in a 1-quart saucepan. Once hot, add balls and fry until golden. Serve balls alongside marinara or rose sauce (marinara mixed with cream).

Yield: 18-24 balls

As you will notice, this is the only hot dish on my menu and it does not require an oven. Serve the chilled soup first and fry this appetizer while your guests finish the first course. Incidentally, these balls are perfectly delicious at room temperature. (I know because I ate three of them on the way home from this photo shoot.)

For more great recipes, check out this weeks issue of Whisk by Ami