Quinoa Cakes with Hot-Smoked Salmon

quinoa pancakes_copyrighted

Although I cook quinoa, I’m still still fairly new to using quinoa flour.  I’ve tried making quinoa flatbread a couple of times, which actually didn’t turn out too badly.  But for the most part, I’ve been reluctant to tackle quinoa flour recipes, simply because I’m never sure how they’re going to turn out. While quinoa flour is a much healthier alternative to wheat flour, the fact that it has no gluten to bind the ingredients also makes it more challenging to use in cooking and baking.

If I substitute quinoa flour in a recipe which calls for wheat flour, there’s always the question of how much to use and what other adjustments need to be made.  Are the cookies going to be dry?  Is the cake going to be too crumbly?  It’s really just a matter of playing around with the ingredients and figuring out what works and in what proportions.

But for now, I just wanted to find a good recipe that specifically uses quinoa flour so that I could finally use the pack of flour that I have. These patties use both quinoa and quinoa flour, and while great eaten on their own, the spicy, tangy mayo really takes the taste to a whole new level.

(Adapted from Taste magazine)

QUINOA CAKES WITH HOT-SMOKED SALMON (Makes 10 pancakes)

Ingredients:

2 cups (500 ml) water
1/2 cup (125ml) quinoa
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) buttermilk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 cups (500 ml) organic quinoa flour
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 lb. (250 g) hot-smoked salmon, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1/2 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) pieces
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) cilantro, finely chopped
2 tsp serrano chilies, seeded and finely minced
2 tsp lime zest, finely grated
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method:

1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup (250 ml) water and quinoa to boil.

2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

3. Remove and set aside covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff and transfer to a bowl to cool down, about 15 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, remaining 1 cup (250 ml) water, buttermilk and eggs.

5. In another bowl, mix together sea salt, baking powder, quinoa flour, ancho chili powder and cooled cooked quinoa.

6. Add the liquid and egg mixture to the quinoa mixture and stir until blended.

7. Fold in salmon, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, chilies and lime zest. Season to taste.

8. Preheat a pancake griddle to 350 F (180 C). Brush griddle with olive oil.

9. Spoon batter onto hot griddle to make pancakes 5-inches (12 cm) across.

10. Turn over when edges seem dry (will be light brown colour).

11. Keep warm while cooking remainder. If batter is too stiff, stir in 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) more buttermilk or water as needed.

12. Serve with Lime and Chipotle Mayonnaise.

LIME AND CHIPOTLE MAYONNAISE

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
1-1/2 tbsp (21 ml) fresh lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp chipotle chili, finely chopped

In a small bowl, mix ingredients until blended. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

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