Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quinoa Corn Cakes: A perfect match

I'm this close to joining Match.com again.

Okay, maybe more like this _______ close.

Putting all those bus-riding grad students and over-salting former jocks who don't appreciate a woman who photographs her food aside, I really have been thinking about it the past few weeks. You know, during those precious few moments when I'm not busy contemplating the meaning of food, the pursuit of sustenance and my personal quest for quinoa.

As much as I love being able to lick my Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream bon bons in private, blow dry my hair while I attempt the triangle pose, and clip my toenails during "The Bachelorette," it would be nice to have an initial in my life so I can say things like, "J and I went to Target today and bought paper towels." Or "B and I love staying in and eating eggs on Sundays." Or something else that's totally annoying to other people, but fun for me because I get to use that weird relationship speak whereby the significant other can only be mentioned as a single letter.

"T is so cute when he's ignoring me and leaves his dirty dishes in the sink."

Of course, it only gets better when the relationship reaches the point where the initial can also be replaced by the pronouns "he" and "him" or the noun "boy." I can't wait to say ambiguous things on Twitter like, "He thought my lipstick was a magic marker" and not need to explain who "he" is because everyone already knows that "he" is "the boy" and "the boy" is the initial and the initial is the boyfriend.

Who's obviously madly in love with me because I get to refer to him as "he" on Twitter.

Of course, being able to use relationship code isn't the only reason I'd consider pursuing love instead of ice cream . I mean, yes, it is high on the list of perks, but I'm also this______ close to joining Match again because the relationship that comes with the code also makes it perfectly acceptable to do nothing on a Friday night. Or a Saturday night. Or a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night.

Because just the presence of a "he" or "P" or "boy" means that even when we are slopping around in our sweatpants drinking wine and eating pizza at home, we're still doing something. When I do that I'm the sad single girl who may or may not clip her toenails while yelling at Ashley on "The Bachelorette," and who may or may not attempt to blow dry her hair while doing the triangle pose. (Multi-tasking, people.)

So it would have been nice when I stayed home a few Fridays ago to make salmon and quinoa and corn cakes instead of meeting friends for drinks, to be able to come up with a better excuse than, "I can't stop thinking about what quinoa corn cakes would taste like, so I'm going to stay in and cook tonight."

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the lamest excuse to not go out ever, it ranks about a 25. But if I had an "R," and "he" and I were staying in to make quinoa corn cakes together it would only rank about a 15.

These are the things I think about when I hear those obnoxious Christian Mingle commercials on CNN telling me that I need to find God's match for me. I really just want God to find a match for me so I can justify staying home to eat quinoa. Again.

But the dirty truth is that these quinoa corn cakes really are a perfectly acceptable reason to ignore those commercials and the friends who roll their eyes when I tell them I don't want to socialize with other initials. They are sweet and savory, a touch indulgent, and far more glamorous than tucking into a mountain of quinoa like I may or may not do when I'm in the privacy of my home.

I don't even feel the need to multitask and do the tree pose while eating them. As it turns out, C and Q are a perfect match. And I'm this close to making them instead of going out for drinks again.

Quinoa Corn Cakes
Makes 12 small cakes

1/4 cup quinoa
2 ears of corn
2 medium leeks, washed and chopped into 1/4 inch squares
1 egg
Salt, pepper
Olive oil

Rinse quinoa well. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small pot, add the quinoa, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer until quinoa absorbs the water and the shells separate from the kernels. (Approximately 15-20 minutes.) Fluff with a fork and set aside to dry out and cool.

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add the corn, cover with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, shuck the corn from the ears. Reserve 1/2 cup of the kernels. Puree the rest using an immersion blender.

Heat nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat the base of the pan. Add the leeks and saute until tender and lightly caramelized -- approximately 5 minutes.

Mix together quinoa, corn, corn puree, leeks, egg, salt, pepper in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours so they are easier to handle when forming and cooking the cakes.

Once chilled, shape into 12 patties. Heat large nonstick pan over medium high heat, add enough oil to coat the base of the pan, then begin cooking the cakes in batches over medium heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and set in the center. Serve immediately.

8 comments:

The Duo Dishes said...

You gotta do what feels right. If that means eating quinoa corn cakes and ignoring the signs of this city that make it silly to be single, then do it! Or join Match. ha

Anna A. said...

Diana I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this! Your posts are the best - so entertaining and clever. Love the initials too... Yeah, come to think of it my boss always refers to me as an initial.... things that make you go hmmmm

stuffycheaks said...

hahah, i yell at Ashley too. roll eyes. This recipe looks awesome! I can't wait to try. Keep the faith!! You'll find an awesome guy that will ove quinoa and won't balk when you're taking photos of food!!

Gastronomer said...

I agree with Anna. This was a great read! D hearts Q. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

Diana said...

Chrystal - Thank you!!! Eating quinoa always feels right to me. And my future husband better feel the same way! ;)

Anna - Hah, you know my old boss used to call me "D" too! Didn't think about that till now! Hmmm indeed!

Stephanie - Ugh, isn't she the worst??? Drives me nuts! That said, I can't wait to roll my eyes at her during the finale tonight!

Cathy - Hehe yes, D LOVES Q! D thinks C is pretty swell too. ;)

Monet said...

You sweet girl...I love hearing you share, your good times, tough times, and your thoughts on life. Thank you for sharing yourself and your yummy treats. These quiona cakes look AMAZING. I hope you had a great day today, and I hope you have an even better day tomorrow. Hugs and love from Austin!

Ashley said...

Ok, so I'm guilty of one of these things. But I feel fairly confident that calling Elliott "E" is my only schmoopie offense. RIGHT?

But since 850 miles separate me from E, I'm glad I have an excuse to stay home and make Q cakes on a Friday night and feel good about it.

Esi said...

Funny, I was just thinking of making quinoa cakes again, but something slightly different in mind