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Quinoa Fritters with Aji Amarillo Aioli

Quinoa Fritters with Aji Amarillo Aioli

From: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Santa Monica, CA. Yield: 24 appetizer servings.

6 cups white or black quinoa, rinsed and drained
12 cups water
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 ¾ cups grated cotija, divided
2 ½ Tbsp. salt
to taste, freshly ground black pepper
3 cups finely chopped green onions, white and light green parts only
2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
9 eggs
9 egg yolks
as needed for frying, grapeseed or canola oil
6 cups pico de gallo salsa

Aji Amarillo Aioli:
1½ cups mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1½ Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3-4 Tbsp. aji amarillo chile paste

In a dry sauté pan over high heat, toast quinoa for about 5 minutes, shaking and stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Transfer to a large saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, about 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Cool. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, flour, 2¼ cups cheese, salt and pepper.  Add onions, parsley, eggs and yolks. Stir thoroughly with a spoon until mixture has the consistency of soft dough. Refrigerate, covered. (Yield: 18 cups)

For each serving, to order: Heat ½” oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Using two soup spoons, press ¼ cup batter into an egg-shaped fritter and gently slide into the hot oil (or use a small ice cream scoop).  Repeat to make a total of 3 fritters. Fry for about 1 minute or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn and fry for about 1 minute on the second side or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels. Arrange fritters on a plate and top each with 1 teaspoon aji amarillo aioli. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. cheese and serve ¼ cup salsa alongside.

For aji amarillo aioli: Whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, parsley and salt. Add chile paste to taste. (Yield: 1½  cups)

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