Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quinoa for Kat --Angela

Quinoa has recently become a main grain in my life. It's very simple to use in salads, soups and stews. In this post I'm going make a Quinoa stew using chicken broth, fresh veg and black quinoa from our local co-op Rainbow Grocery. Quinoa is most commonly cooked in a similar manner to rice. 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Boil, let it sit until water is absorbed. Very simple and delicious. You can use plain water with salt or any flavored broth you like, I chose homemade chicken and onion broth from the poached chicken used in the Cold Chicken and Potato salad we ate at Opera in the Park.

I skimmed off the fat from the poached chicken broth before adding the quinoa. (I also removed the poached chicken, but tossed in a bit that was chopped up.) I brought the quinoa to a boil and then turned it off until I was ready to add the next ingredients.

skim the fat
putting in quinoa

I tossed in a cup of dried veggie mix to help add flavor and absorb the extra broth.  This included garlic, tomatoes, carrots, celery and potatoes, you can find a mix like this online or at a co-op. I bought it as part of my pretend earthquake kit, but I like to use it even when the earth isn't shakin'.

I brought the dried vegetables and quinoa back up to a simmer. The germ of the quinoa was showing, so I knew it was technically done cooking, but it's a hardy grain so it could stew in the pot (ha!). You can see the little curls below, those c-shapes are the germ.

Per usual I had to add some veggies to give it texture and further develop the flavor profile. In this case, eggplant (which I chose because it breaks down when you cook it), broccoli (I like to rough chop it so some of the mini florets swim around), celery and a 'challenge' vegetable, fava beans.

I asked around to find the best way to cook fava beans as the last time when I got them from the farmer's  market, they tasted bitter and ruined my meal. Turns out I overcooked them, which leached the bitterness into that stew. Knowledgeable and prepared, this time I tossed them in on top to steam After I simmered the other ingredients until they were cooked. They are quite tasty. I also learned you can steam them in their pods like edamame.

The finished stew, served with an heirloom cherry tomato garnish. It made a potful, which I have been taking to work for lunch. It just seems to get more savory and filling everyday!