These rustic millet cakes are warm and filling. Paired with sweet peas and a rich and spicy sauce, they make a wonderful winter meal.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I cooked of course, but I also goofed around with my nieces and nephews and relaxed a lot. I was really nervous that the T-word was gonna come up (the one that rhymes with chump), but nobody even mentioned it. 😌
Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can start in on the Christmasy goodies. I’m so happy to start it out with this humble dish. It’s homey and warm, just like the holidays should be. Comforting.
At the outset, the simplicity of this dish is deceiving. But the flavors and textures at play here are not to be undermined. The cakes are flaky and crispy on the outside, and fluffy and soft on the inside. And the sauce. It’s hearty but not cloyingly so, with a spiciness that compliments the gentle notes of the millet cakes. The sweet little peas are nestled in all of it, like bright little Christmas balls.
You start out with making millet porridge. Literally just water and millet, like you were making oatmeal or polenta. When the porridge gets big and fluffy, pour it into a baking dish to set. Pour some nice olive oil on a cookie sheet and let the oven get good and hot. Then cut out the cakes with a biscuit cutter and bake them up all warm and crispy. The sauce is a breeze, three ingredients and very little work. Spoon it into a bowl with the golden cakes and sprinkle a generous hand of peas over top. Serve it with a nice jammy red wine, and plenty of love.
P.S. On Monday I’m starting a 4 part mini-blog series that I’m kind of excited about. Be sure to swing by and check it out!
- 1 cup millet
- 4 cups water
- hefty pinch of salt, plus more to taste
- 2 medium cloves of microplane grated garlic
- fresh ground black pepper
- good quality olive oil
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 3/4 cup cooked sweet potato
- 2 cups crushed tomato
- 1 1/2 tbsp canned adobo pepper
- Pour the millet in a big flat pan set over medium heat. Shake the pan back and forth over the burner so that the millet gets a little dark and toasty, about 5 minutes.
- Add the millet to a big pot along with the water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Stir very occasionally. Continue to cook for 25 minutes. If water is not absorbed at the end of cooking, raise the heat and stir until the porridge is good and thick, and all water is gone.
- Add the pepper and the garlic to the millet.
- Pour millet into a large baking pan. Spread it out so that it's 3/4 inch thick. Allow to cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 450. Pour a nice layer of olive oil over a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Using a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter (approx 2.5 inch diameter), cut out millet cakes. You should get about 16-18.
- Place the cakes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and then bake for 10 more minutes.
- While the cakes are baking, make the sauce. Use a food processor to blend up the crushed tomatoes, the adobo pepper, and the sweet potato. Move the sauce to a pan and heat, adding salt if needed.
- Defrost the peas.
- Divide the sauce, the peas, and the cakes among plates. Serve.