Quinoa Arancini

Perhaps you’ve heard of arancini – basically a delicious fried ball of risotto with cheese in the middle…  I’ve made these before and they are amazing, however, in an effort to eat less white rice, I wanted to make a similar version of these, but with quinoa instead of Arborio rice.  I made this without writing anything down (bad food blogger), but here’s the jist of it:

I made some quinoa according to the package directions, with vegetable stock instead of water – and I added a pinch of salt.  I let this mixture cool in the fridge, then added an egg and some fresh herbs, chopped chives and parsley.  I happened to have goat cheese in the fridge, so I made little balls of cheese and molded the cold quinoa around it.  Then I put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and cooked the patties (I make patties instead of balls, because it’s easier to pan fry these) until lightly browned on both sides.  These were very yummy – I enjoyed the crisp quinoa on the outside, the chewy quinoa on the inside, and the tangy goat cheese in the middle.  Next time I’d like to try making them with cubes of mozzarella (not fresh, it’s too watery for this) because I like the gooey quality of it.  I highly recommend taking any leftover grains that you have in the fridge and mixing them with some herbs and an egg and wrapping it around some cheese and giving it a little sauté.  You can also dip the cakes into egg and then into panko breadcrumbs or cornmeal before sautéing – although this is definitely easier to do with rice, than with the crumbly quinoa.  And, these are great for a picnic – enjoy!