Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Recipe: Mmmm...Millet Crispy treats!

I know, I know, the name "millet treats" doesn't roll off the tongue quite like Rice Krispies (R) treats, but I was trying to get you all pumped up anyway.   :)

I met with some friends to watch the "Lost" finale last weekend, and I wanted to test drive a new snack...something savory that wasn't deep fried or super fatty but still irresistable and munchable.  On "Top Chef Masters" last week, Chef Susan Feniger (her LA restaurants include Border Grill, Ciudad, and the newest one, Street) made a dish which included savory crispy puffed millet balls, and they looked so tasty I was inspired to make them! (Since I have a rice allergy,  I'm always on the lookout for good alternatives to rice, and puffed millet could do the trick nicely.  Millet is a gluten-free ancient grain going back almost 10,000 years and is still a staple food in many countries in the world including India and China.)  I looked up the recipe online (thank you Oprah!), and found that they were made with Indian spices in addition to the traditional marshmallows and was even further intrigued.

I had to substitute a few of the spices since I didn't have some of them, but the puffs were easy to make, and jackpot!...they were DEE-lish -- a very adult version of Rice Krispie squares: sweet, spicy, chewy.  (Note: if you're not a fan of Indian spices, you won't like these.) Because they use whole seeds, the flavors are bold, yet not overpowering.  These are light, chewy and addicting.  Chef Susan serves them as an appetizer at Street, but they would make a nice savory snack anytime...I'm going on a road trip next month, I may make a batch to take them along.

Here's the Spicy Millet Puff recipe from Susan Feniger.  Try them out and let me know what you think!

Millet Puffs
Recipe created by Susan Feniger
Servings: Makes 36 small balls (about 6 servings)


Millet Puffs
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance soy-free margarine)
  • 2 cups marshmallows
  • 3 cups puffed millet cereal
  • 1 Tbsp. whole cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. whole fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp. Reshampati chili powder (Note: I used Ancho chili powder)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup dried currants (I used dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. chopped curry leaf (I used a pinch of curry powder)


Note: Arrowhead Mills makes millet puffs, but you can also substitute other unsweetened puffed cereals, like Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs. Dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins can be used instead of currants. All of the spices are available at Amazon.com.

Place the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven; heat over medium heat until frothy.

Add the marshmallows and start to melt them, stirring with a rubber spatula so that they don't stick or burn (you can lower the heat if you need to). When the marshmallows are halfway melted, add all the remaining ingredients except the millet and stir well, so spices start to toast and are fully mixed with the marshmallow.

Add the millet, turn off heat, and stir until all of the millet is mixed and evenly coated in the spiced marshmallow mix.

Move the pan to a heat-proof surface, and immediately start rolling into small balls, about the size of a cherry; if your hands are slightly damp with cold water, the mixture will be easier to work with. Place the balls on a plate, uncovered, until they dry out slightly, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container up to three days.

I had extra marshmallows, so also tweaked the original Rice Krispie treat recipe and made a puffed millet version.  Because the millet isn't presweetened like the Rice Krispies cereal, the proportion of marshmallow to cereal needed to be adjusted to be 1:1.  Melt 1/4 cup of dairy-free margarine with 4 cups of marshmallows.  When melted, add 4 cups of puffed millet, stir until mixed, scoop into an oiled pan and press lightly.  Cut while warm!


Lindsay said...

Plain crispy treats work great! The marshmallow didn't quite absorb all the millet so I added a little extra butter to moisten. Thanks!

Food Allergy Queen said...

Lindsay, glad you liked them and they worked for you. I was just thinking about making a batch of the plain ones the other day, but I'm still going low-carb to work off those holiday pounds...soon though!

thanks for the note,