Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to make Quinoa on the stovetop {Recipe: Tex-Mex Quinoa}

This year I want to start a How To make series. So for this first post I'm going to explain how to cook quinoa. I'm going to be doing two posts on this. First I'm going to post how to cook quinoa on the stove-top (with other ingredients). The next post is going to be how to make quinoa (plain) in a rice-cooker (my preferred method.)

Now some brief info for those of you who have never heard of quinoa or those of you who have but don't really know what it is. (First - pronunciation - Keen-Wah) Quinoa is a seed that originated in South America (mainly the Andes region). It is a power house and contains antioxidants, amino acids and protein. While quinoa is typically bunched in with grains, it is actually a relative of the spinach families. (Although tastes nothing like spinach! Side note - you can actually eat quinoa greens, but availability is limited.) The flavor of quinoa is actually quite bland but there are so many combinations of spices that can enhance the seeds. 

 How to Cook Quinoa: Stove Top (recipe: Tex-Mex Quinoa)
One way to was quinoa is to rinse in a strainer (I'll be discussing another way in my next post about quinoa).
Place 1 cup quinoa into the strainer,
Keep the strainer in the bowl,
pour water over the quinoa until the bowl is filled.
A few pieces will float, but they'll mostly stay under the water.
Use your hand (I suppose you could also use a spoon...) and swirl through to give them a good rinse. If the water is really dirty, I would rinse them again. If not, drain and set aside.
In a pan over medium to medium high heat, add 1 Tbsp oil (I used olive oil),
Toss in 1 medium onion, chopped and cook until the onions are tender.
Then add the quinoa and stir.
Cook the quinoa for about 3-4 minutes.
Then add 1 Tbsp garlic minced (or finely shredded.)
Also add 1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles.
And 1 can chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you'd rather.)
I guess you could even add beef broth - whatever floats your boat.
Next add 1 Tbsp Lime juice.

to the quinoa.
 You'll also want to add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cumin. You can adjust these to your palate.
Heat until boiling,
then reduce heat and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
 About 10-15 minutes.
Then add one can black (or pinto) beans - drained and rinsed, and 1 can corn - drained.
Cook until the corn and beans are heated through.
(Of course you could just add cooked quinoa, omit the broth and just toss everything in after the onions are cooked.)
Serve warm.

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