Monday, February 1, 2010

Quinoa - Super Keen....

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa.....not quin-o-ah), is becoming all the rage! An awesome source of fiber, I first heard about it a year and a half ago or so but hadn't tried it until this last weekend. I wanted to find a good recipe that incorporated lots of flavor rather than trying it more plain and possibly not liking it when liking it is exactly what I wanted to do! You can find quinoa in the bulk or health food sections of many stores by the bulgar and brown rice etc. The tiny 'pellets' are about the size of two sesame seeds and when browned before adding liquid, smell a little like popcorn! Yum! The recipe I found had a Mexican flair and was a great along side chicken fajitas.
The recipe was pretty basic....quinoa, onion, cilantro, garlic, black beans, frozen corn and chicken broth (called for veg. broth but I only had chicken on hand), as well as olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin.
I began by adding the olive oil to a med-high heated pan. I added 1 teasopoon of butter just for a hint of it's taste.
I then added the quinoa - and guess what? Just as I began typing this post, I remembered that I'd read you should rinse your quinoa before cooking it! Yikes! Oh well, I did like the end product anyway...but next time, I'll try rinsing first.
I stirred the quinoa in the oil/butter now and again for about 5 minutes till it smelled flavorful and was nicely browned.
Onions and garlic were added next and cooked for an additional 5 minutes or so.
My camera didn't capture it as well as I'd have liked....but it's getting some nice color here....
Next up came the broth and seasonings & spices - I stirred until well combined...
..then brought it up to a boil...
...then covered it and simmered it on low for 20 minutes.
After the 20 minutes, it had soaked up all the yummy goodness and was light and fluffy.
The frozen corn went in nest (mine had been sitting out since the cooking began though, so it wasn't hard-as-a-rock frozen). Note: when you add in the corn, turn the heat up to at least medium as after the quinoa simmered on a low, it wasn't super hot so you'll need to crank it up a bit to heat the corn thoroughly.
Stir the corn in for a few minutes, then add the black beans and cilantro and stir until heated through - about 2 or 3 minutes.
Once well combined and hot....serve! I had a nice pic of the finished dish in a pretty teal bowl but for some reason it didn't turn there's no 'presentation picutre' for you. get the point of it all anyhoo, right?
My husband loved this dish (fifteen yeaf old daughter...not so much....go figure)...I liked it alot but would've liked it hotter (temp-wise) as I'd transferred it to it's serving dish a few minutes too early before our fajitas were ready. Just know that you wanna keep it hot in it's pan until you're actually ready to serve and eat.
We'll have it again - I'm looking forward to trying it with other flavors besides Mexican. It was less toothy that brown rice and as quick to cook as white rice. Quinoa was a keen change from the everyday!
Mexican Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
3/4 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste (1/4 teas. of each)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat and add quinoa, stirring for five minutes until it begins to brown. Add onions and garlic and cook/stir for an additional 5 minutes. Pour in broth and seasonings, then cover and reduce heat to low - simmer 20 minutes. Add in forzen corn, and increase heat to medium - cooking until corn is heated through. Add black beans and cilantro then cook additional 3 minutes until dish as a whole is steaming hot. Serve immediately.

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