Broccoli and Cheddar Bites with Quinoa

Whenever Bucky says, "You can make ______ anytime!" is a win in my book!  Especially when it involves a green vegetable and quinoa.  But actually, Bucky loves broccoli, and these little bites are our favorite takeout appetizer.  The broccoli and cheese bites (that are ultimately guaranteed frozen and fried) that come to our door are pretty tough to replicate. And truthfully, why would I want that? Takeout is for ordering food I cannot otherwise get at home.  Exactly the reason I won't order a grilled cheese.  Anywho, my broccoli bites are less battered with a crust, and more dusted and flash fried. They're perfect to roll into bite-sized balls and take to a party, or make them into nice patties and use as a burger! Serve with a warm honey mustard sauce, for best results ;-)


What You'll Need:
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 small-medium heads broccoli
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumb (bland breadcrumb will result in bland broccoli bites, so season well if it isn't already!)
  • Large skillet full of frying oil (5 cups, approximately)

1.  Finely dice the yellow onion and sauté in 2 tbsp. butter with salt and pepper until translucent. While that is cooking, start two pots of boiling water.  Boil the broccoli heads for about 5 minutes and then shock in ice cold water.  Cook the quinoa according to package directions in the other pot. 

2.  Drain the onions and set aside.  Finely chop the steamed broccoli and drain the quinoa of any excess water.  In a large mixing bowl, mix broccoli, quinoa, and onions and let cool completely.  When completely cooled, mix in eggs, cheese, and 3/4 cup of breadcrumb. Add your spices (and additional salt and pepper as needed). With your hands, get in that mixing bowl and incorporate all the ingredients until you can form sturdy balls.  

3.  Use the remaining breadcrumb to lightly dredge the balls.  Making sure your oil is hot, drop about 4-5 balls in at one time, depending on the size of the bites.  Don't drop too many, so they don't lower the temperature of the oil too fast.  When the broccoli bites brown all the way around, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain oil, then put on a cooling rack and in a 200-degree oven to keep warm while frying the rest. Repeat until finished, and enjoy!



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