The Guys That Bind: Curried Quinoa Corn Cakes and Sour Cream Sriracha paired with Seinfeld
Binding agents are crucial both in cooking and in television. When caking chopped up ingredients together, a binding agent keeps the cakes from falling apart. When scripting a television show, a binding agent keeps the characters in the same social circle. Naturally, this leads us to meatballs.
Every meatball you’ve ever had has tasted the same. You ate one while you were drunk that one time, which is why you think you once had the best meatball ever, but you’re wrong – it was the same as every meatball. That’s because they are all held together by the same mortar: eggs.
Eggs are the most popular binding agent in American cuisine, mainly because the American egg farmers’ lobby is almost as powerful as Chase Bank, which as of 2012 was officially ranked as the number one most powerful entity in existence (second place: God Almighty).
Enlightened chefs know that eggs have run their course as the status quo binding agent and have turned to chickpea flour. Yes, chickpea flour. Simmer a little bit in some water and use it to bind your foodstuffs, and it soon becomes apparent that the Hebrew slaves of Biblical (read: “fake”) Egypt would spit in your face out of sheer jealousy, because they had to use mortar made out of diced apples, walnuts, and cinnamon, and you get to use chickpea flour. “Cat, sarcophagus, bird, cobra,” they’d scream at you in Ancient Egyptian. This loosely translates to, “You lucky bastard.”
Jerry Seinfeld was both the egg and the chickpea flour of the sitcom Seinfeld. In the season 3 episode The Dog, Jerry has to watch a dog that belongs to a man he met on a plane, so he cannot accompany George and Elaine to the movies. He tells them to go without him. After much hemming and hawing, they reluctantly agree. Later, they make some awkward conversation at the coffee shop.
George checks his watch, Elaine yawns as George talks about the tea he likes. Elaine makes fun of Jerry for not realizing that his favorite tea contains caffeine. George, suddenly enraptured, laughs. Elaine laughs even harder. They have finally bonded – and it happened thanks to the strongest binding agent known to sitcoms: the eponymous protagonist.
This sequence epitomizes why binding agents are so crucial to a television show’s continuity. Despite Jerry’s absence, he is still the only thing keeping George and Elaine together, both in this brief temporal setting and in the show’s overall narrative. He is the chickpea flour of the nineties.
Curried quinoa corn cakes are made from ingredients you wouldn’t expect, unless you read this sentence properly. No surprises in that case. I have adapted THIS recipe to achieve more of a Cambodian curry flavor in the cakes.
- 3.5 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup uncooked)
- 2 cups cooked corn kernels (roughly 3 ears of corn)
- 1 kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin
- .5 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- .5 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour
Cook the quinoa. And the corn. If you need instructions on this, find a blog for jerks who can’t read the back of their quinoa packaging.
This is why you measure quinoa and THEN water, not the other way around. Getting those kernels out was a real hassle and I’m thinking of closing down this blog rather than picking them out.
Combine all ingredients except chickpea flour in a huge bowl. Take the biggest bowl you own and wear it as a helmet while you go shop for a bowl that’s big enough. Mix well.
In a better saucepan than you can afford, combine chickpea flour and 3/4 cup water. Cook until it’s thick and bubbly and sort of reminiscent of the bog of eternal stench.
Remove from stove and pour it all over the quinoa mixture. Mix it so well that you will have no shot masturbating later – your hand should HURT. Once it cools down, form into patties by hand.
Using however much oil feels right in your heart (2 tbsp), pan fry in a non stick pan. About 5 minutes per side should do the trick. While the first batch cooks, whip up your sriracha sour cream. Take some sour cream, and add some sriracha to it. For spicier sour cream, use more sriracha. For milder sour cream, use less. If you’d like exact measurements, you have now been diagnosed with OCD. Seek help.
If it looks like you bled into the sour cream, keep mixing.
Time to dig in. Delicious.