cleaning house… part one!

i have a tendency to hoard foods.  like, just in case i might have a craving for polenta, green lentils, or coconut oil, it’s always in the cupboards.  generally this is an efficient (obsessive…? perhaps) way of stocking and shopping.  except when planing to move houses! when we finally decided to move, we faced this entire cabinet full of food.

noodles, legumes, and mushrooms, oh my.

i was trying to plan meals (and blog posts!) based on what needed to get used up before out move, and i originally drafted a very long post about all the foods i was going to cook from this overfull cupboard.  but, whatever, i never got around to cooking them, so the draft just sat in my folder.  however, i did cook up these cute croquettes during that time, and again last night.  i decided that i would just post one recipe at a time, instead of these daunting long posts. so i present part one of a series of recipes for those foods that might be hiding in your cupboards, just waiting to be used up…

soybean and millet croquettes

boyfriend helped; that's why they look photo-perfect. he's good like that

i bought millet and canned soybeans just for this recipe, which comes from mayumi’s kitchen, a beautiful macrobiotic cookbook i purchased months ago.  the recipes are stunning, but this is the very first one i’ve made.  i have to say that frying is not a cooking technique in my repertoire, so this recipe was interesting but challenging.  i tried the recipe twice (once following her directions, then using homemade mungbeans instead of canned soy), and both times it was delicious.  the following recipe is her original ingredients, but i added in some steps that she seems to have left out of the directions.  these were so good served with miso-soba soup, baked squash and steamed greens.

1 can soybeans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)(see note)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
pinch seasalt and pepper
2-3 tbsp water
1/2 cup cooked millet (cook in broth for more flavor)
2 tbsp fresh parsley or other greens
1-2 cups non-gmo canola oil (depending on method)
3-5 tbsp wheat flour (i used unbleached all-purpose)
1 cup panko (japanese breadcrumbs)

to cook the millet: heat one cup water or broth in a sacuepan until boiling, then add 1/3 cup millet.  turn heat to low, and simmer until soft, about 15-20 minutes.  fluff with a fork.

to make the croquettes: mash the soybeans in your processor (or with a hand blender, or with a fork, if you are exceptionally patient).  add a little water if necessary, but don’t make it too runny.  add in the millet, parsley, and salt/pepper.  heat up a pan to medium heat, and add onion and garlic.  add 1-2 tbsp water and water-saute until onion is translucent, about 15 minutes.  add the onion mixture to the millet/beans, and then then form into six or eight cookie-shaped patties.

to prep the croquettes: place 2 tbsp flour in one bowl, and in another (wide mouth bowl or deep plate) put 2 + tbsp flour and mix with 2 + tbsp water- whisk well.  it should be smooth and creamy, not chunky.   dip the patties into the panko flakes, then into the dry flour; squish in your hands to make sure they are binding well, then dip on side into the flour/water.  dip into the panko again, and repeat for the other side.  dip all the croquettes first and set aside.

to cook the croquettes: if you are deep frying, heat up the oil in a cast iron pan to 350 degrees.  if you are pan frying, coat the bottom of your pan  (i used cast iron) with a good amount of canola or peanut oil, and heat until sizzling.  drop in the croquettes, and cook until they are lightly browned, flipping occasionally to even out the browning.  remove using tongs and set on paper towel to cool.  best eaten when very fresh, so the panko is still crunchy and the filling is still very warm.

note about beans: i would choose a mild smooth bean, so soy is great, or black eyed peas would work good too.  the mung beans were also good, but i don’t think i mashed them well enough.  she also says you can use any leftover grain; i think brown rice would be great because it would increase the stickiness of the croquettes before cooking.  however, we eat rice and soy all the time, so i wanted to mix it up.

last year for veganmofo:

the joy of mixed baby greens: harvesting and sharing veggies from my little yard!

2 thoughts on “cleaning house… part one!

  1. It is seriously amazing how much food can get stockpiled! Both our freezer and our cupboards seem to quickly become long-term storage facilities! Those croquettes look like an awesome way to use up dried food!

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