I love risotto, but truth be told on any given day it takes too long and so even though I love it, I skip making it in favor of something less time consuming. These little risotto-like cakes taste almost exactly like the ones I make with leftover risotto, but the recipe relies on cooked brown rice instead and therefore takes a fraction of the time to make. You can cook your own brown rice, or purchase already cooked brown rice in the freezer section of places like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I use one freezer bag of cooked brown rice (prepared according to package instructions) for this recipe. I had a little adventure photographing these puppies this morning. I often shoot food somewhere in my garden, leave it there, run in, look at the images on my computer and then run back out. If the shots are good I put the food away (or, well, eat it). If the shots aren’t exactly what I want I try again. On this morning I was indoors about 6 minutes and when I went back out, the cakes were GONE, and I mean totally gone. This was not the work of something small, like a squirrel (of which we have many), but rather a LARGE beast, like a coyote or a raccoon. Until this morning we had never had evidence of such a large beast on our garden. We live in a canyon, but our yard is well fenced and the largest animals that had ever visited in the past were an errant flock of ducks that flew in last year and tried, quite unsuccessfully, to swim in our covered pool. I had left the house doors wide open so I spent a busy minute or two determining that whoever had eaten the cakes hadn’t also COME INSIDE, but they were nowhere to be found. Lesson learned – no unattended cakes left on lawn, and we should probably keep the house doors shut if no one is in the room.
Cheater Risotto Cakes with Smoked Turkey & Mushrooms (30 cakes)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 20-oz sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups chopped pearl onions
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 ¼ cups bisquick
- 2 cups chopped smoked turkey breast
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled slightly
- a pinch of saffron (30-40 threads) (Costco often has saffron at very reasonable prices)
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sour cream
Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet or large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, onions and salt. Sauté until the onions are soft and the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, about 12-15 minutes. Take off of the stove and allow to cool slightly. Spread out on a large cutting board and chop until the mushrooms and onions are finely diced.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and Bisquick until smooth. Gently mix in the turkey, tarragon, cheese, cooked brown rice and reserved mushroom/onion mixture.
In a small bowl pour boiling water over the saffron threads. Add the salt and allow the threads to sit for 10 minutes. Place the sour cream in a different small bowl. Using a spoon or strainer, remove the saffron threads from the water and add the saffron water to the sour cream, stirring until well blended.
Heat a non-stick griddle to 325 degrees. Using a very small amount of grapeseed oil, grease the griddle. Using a ¼ cup measure, spoon the risotto mixture onto the hot griddle. Use the backside of the measuring cup, flatten the cakes until they are just ½-inch thick. Cook until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Serve hot with the saffron sour cream as a garnish.
If you like these and want to give another variation a try, pop over to What’s Gaby Cooking and try her Risotto Cakes with Pesto.