Tuesday, March 24, 2009

easy & frugal: millet cakes

In our family, we have a newcomer on our list of favorite dishes. It is, improbably, millet cakes. I was completely unfamiliar with millet prior to a month or so ago.

For those of you who are the same way, millet is a whole grain that has a long history. It lacks gluten, so it is appropriate for those sensitive to gluten. According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, "Millet is very high in silica, which helps keep the bones flexible as we age."

The first time I cooked millet, I found it very bland. However, at a friend's suggestion, the next time I cooked it in chicken stock. The result was delicious! We usually eat cooked millet as a side dish (similar to having rice with chicken), and use the leftovers to make millet cakes. I'm happy to say that everyone in the family loves this dish, including my ever-so-picky middle child. It makes meals so much sweeter.

Basic Millet directions~
(from Nourishing Traditions)

2 cups whole millet
4 cups filtered water PLUS 4 T. whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk
1 t. sea salt
2-4 T. butter

Soak millet & warm water mixture for at least 7 hours. (If you choose to cook your millet in chicken stock, after it's done soaking you will rinse & drain it, then add 4 cups chicken stock to millet in a pot). In a medium-sized pot, bring to a boil. Skim, reduce heat, stir in salt & butter & cover tightly. Without removing lid, cook over lowest possible heat for about 45 minutes.

And now...

Millet Cakes

4 cups cooked millet
4 eggs
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped *
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 T. butter
3 T. extra virgin olive oil

Blend eggs with flour & seasonings, fold in millet, onion, cilantro and cheese. Form into patties & saute in a mixture of butter & olive oil.

*I never seem to have fresh cilantro and have never used it in this recipe. I'm sure it would be great, but the recipe is absolutely delicious without it!



California Isoms said...

I admire what you can do in the kitchen! Wow! What a gift to your family...

Mama said...

That sounds like something worth trying. Thanks. Looks good in the picture.

Rissa said...

I just bought some millet today, thanks to this post! I'm excited to try it.

I was wondering...I bought plain yogurt, so I'll be using that to soak the millet with the water...but does the whole thing need to stay warmish for the entire 7 hours? We keep our house around 70* so I don't think it will get cold or anything. Just making sure - seems like a random question now that I've typed it all out! :) Oh well!


Mindy said...

No, but it might not hurt to leave it in a cold oven with the light left on inside. I don't worry about keeping it warm, I just loosely cover & leave it on the counter. We keep our house at around 70 also.

I hope you love the recipe as much as we do! We enjoy the millet cakes immensely, but the cooked millet is okay too. :)