Sriracha quinoa bites
What is it about appetizers that captures our hearts (and tummies) so? Is it their teeny, bite-sized nature? Or the fact that we consume them rarely, so they seem like decadent treats? Do we feel better about eating them because they’re small?
I don’t know for certain, but I do know that a holiday party isn’t a holiday party without them. (And sometimes, they’re the only redeeming value of certain holiday parties. You’ve been to those, I’m sure.)
But for the host, appetizers are a lot of work — often more work than preparing an entree: what an appetizer lacks in size has to be made up in quantity. And variety.
That’s what makes these sriracha quinoa bites extra wonderful: a party platter’s worth can be made in less than an hour — less than a half hour, if you keep cooked quinoa on hand — and with very little effort.
And of course, sriracha addicts will love the generous helping of this irresistible condiment that infuses every bite.
I’m a fairly recent convert to sriracha. For a long time, cayenne-type spices were extremely unappealing to me. All heat, discomfort, and burn; absolutely no flavor.
But, an obsession with kimchi (a story for another post), has — as best as I can tell — deadened my sensitivity to cayenne heat. Finally, I can sense the flavor of it, and know what others have been raving about all this time.
And quinoa, beautiful, healthy, protein-packed quinoa, is the perfect delivery vehicle for the wonderful flavors within. The quinoa will make these bites perhaps the healthiest appetizer on your holiday table (shh, it’ll be our little secret), while the sriracha guarantees they’ll be scarfed up in no time.
Better make a double batch.
Sriracha quinoa bites
So quick and easy, and fairly healthy, if you don’t mind the cheese. These come together quickly, especially if you keep cooked quinoa on hand (it freezes beautifully). Sriracha addicts may want to up the sriracha to 2 tablespoons.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (how to cook quinoa)
- 3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (whole wheat or white)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Oil the cups of two mini 12 count muffin pans. Set aside.
- Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. The mixture should be sticky and cling to a spoon. (Add more breadcrumbs if it’s too loose.)
- Spoon the mixture into one cup. Press down firmly with your fingers. Add more, if necessary, to fill even with the top. Press firmly again. Continue filling the cups in this manner. You should be able to fill 18 to 20 of the cups.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Keep an eye on the edges – if they brown, go ahead and remove the pans from the oven.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack. Serve immediately.