Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you’re aware that the Bruins won the Stanley Cup last Wednesday. And this past Saturday, Boston held the championship parade.
Roo and I were unable to see the parade (he has been waiting for the Bs to win the cup since he was traumatized by their last playoff game years ago) as he had to attend an all day bachelor party and I had to go to work. That, unfortunately, didn’t mean I missed out on experiencing the Bruins fans.
I decided to take public transportation to work – as I usually do during the week – to avoid the mess of road closures. I don’t know if that was the best decision I made…
Around 11:30 I took the bus to Kenmore station, and the ride was surprisingly quiet. My guess was that most of the fans had left very early so they could get a spot right up against the road to cheer their team on as they rolled by. Park Street however, was a different story.
Walking down the stairs to get to the red line, there was this sound, a sound I can only describe as the scene from the movie Gladiator, when the men are walking up the ramp only to hear a roar from the crowd beyond the wooden doors. And yellow! The platform was packed with Bruins fans, in their yellow and black shirts, shouting words like, “Bruins,” “Cup,” “Yeah!,” and other things that I couldn’t make out because it was so loud. The majority of them appeared to be in their early twenties, and, wasted. At the base of the stairs MBTA employees were yelling at those who walked down (and then clustered in front of them), to move down the platform to make room for everyone. But there really wasn’t any room left. The normally cool underground subway station, was overcrowded, humid, and smelled of sweat. And beer.
How we all managed to get onto the train, still boggles my mind, but for some reason karma disliked my getting a seat. I only had to go one stop, but not a minute after we moved, I got elbowed on the bridge of my nose.
It honestly happened all to quickly for me to even block the hit, but there was a scuffle amongst – I think – friends (who were drunk).
When I got home after work I just wanted something comforting to eat (for me and my now roman nose), with little time at the stove as it was quite warm out. I threw quinoa in the rice cooker, and thumbed through a new favorite cookbook of mine, Super Natural Everyday.
I never had quinoa until I started reading the author’s blog. And now quinoa is something Roo requests, which is especially rewarding because I never thought that the boy from “the most Irish town in America” would ever eat something that wasn’t a normal side to chicken or beef. But that’s my own crow I have to chew on.
Adapted, just a little, from Super Natural Everyday
I didn’t make them super round and all pretty, probably because I was feeling a bit ugly myself, but they truly are delicious. Crispy on the outside from being pan fried with a bit of oil, a tiny bite from the onion, with creaminess from the egg, parmesan and garlic; it’s just what you need when you’re having an off day.
Serves Four as a Side, Generously
About two cups cooked quinoa
4 large egg whites (you can use 4 eggs – I can’t because of Roo, *note: this will also create a more sturdy mixture as the egg yolks I find are a better binder)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Diamond brand)
1 large onion diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced (I love garlic, but if you’re not as big of a fan, use 3)
1 cup panko
1 – 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper flake (this little something really adds to the dish, if heat scares you, start with half a teaspoon)
3 tablespoons olive oil (for the pan)
One large bowl
One large saute pan with cover (if you don’t have a cover, it’s ok, I have forgotten to cover the pan and it’s worked out just fine)
A pair of tongs or another spatula (to flip the patties)
A sharp knife
I find that cooking a half cup of quinoa yields about two cups of quinoa. In a pot add half a cup of quinoa and one cup of water to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the contents simmer for around 20 minutes or until the quinoa opens up. The quinoa will reveal a little curly cue tail (like a spiral) and it will be soft to chew (softer than cooked barley). Drain any remaining liquid and set aside to cool to room temperature. If you have a rice cooker, throw the quinoa in, adding the water to the “white rice” 0.5 cup level, and press quick cook.
Add quinoa, egg whites and salt to the large bowl and combine with spatula. Add the onion and garlic, parmesan cheese, panko and crushed red pepper flake. Fold in all the ingredients till combined (it’s going to make a pretty sticky “batter”). Pour the olive oil into the pan and set the burner on medium heat. As the oil starts to warm, make your patties. I like to grab about a palmful of “batter,” and roll it in between my hands, flattening it down before putting it into the pan. Hopefully by the time you finish your first patty, the oil will start to shimmer.
Place the first patty in the pan. If the pan is hot enough, the patty shouldn’t fall apart. (I have found when using egg whites that the patty tends to fall apart in the pan if it isn’t hot enough.) Then, keep going, making patties, and placing them in the pan, one by one. (In my pan, I can fit all of them.) Without crowding them, fit as many as you can. Cover the pan (if you can, if you don’t have a cover, that’s fine, it just may take longer) and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. You want the patties to be deeply browned (browned = ohmygoodness, who cares if I was hit in the nose). Flip the patties with your tongs/spatula and then press the patties down to flatten them out even more (believe in the browning!). Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove the patties from the pan and let cool on a couple paper towels. Repeat the above steps with any remaining “batter.”