Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quinoa = Love

I have a naughty secret.

Today was my first time making quinoa.

That's not the secret.

I wanted to enjoy every bite of this adventure - since the little taste I had of the quinoa while cooking made me smile so huge - that without hesitation, I turned the TV on for my girls, pulled up a table and a couple of plastic chairs, and yes - I let them eat, by themselves, without parental supervision, in front of the TV.

Then, I poured a big glass of 2007 Riesling, plated salmon, baby bok choy and red quinoa pilaf with as much pizzaz as I could muster, dimmed the lights, and ate one amazing dinner, quietly, savouring every morsel. Paul was not home, he's working in the big city today, and traffic can be horrific around dinner time.

Three words. I love quinoa.

I'd like to say my kids loved it too, that when I returned to the family room, they were licking their plates and pleading for more. But it would not be so, not yet, anyway. One day, they too will savour every last bite. Since we'll be eating of it often from here forward.

Honey and Soy Glazed Salmon over Organic Red Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf with Steamed Baby Bok Choy
Serves 4

Begin with the quinoa.

Red Quinoa Mushroom Pilaf

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 cup fresh crimini mushrooms, gently wiped and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups organic red quinoa
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
freshly ground black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth


Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the shallot and mushrooms, cook and stir until mushrooms are brown and shallots are soft.
Stir in the quinoa, salt, thyme, bay leaf and black pepper. Toast the quinoa while stirring, for about 3 - 4 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, careful for splatter as the saucepan is very hot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
Remove quinoa from heat, uncover, fluff with fork, remove bay leaf and set aside. (Don't worry if not all of the chicken stock has absorbed.)
Let stand about 10 minutes - here's where you start the salmon.

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon Filets

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp canola oil
4 skinless, boneless fresh salmon fillets (totalling 1 pound)
Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 F/180 C.

Prepare the glaze:
Combine soy sauce and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add honey and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat.
Heat an oven proof skillet (cast iron or stainless steele) over high heat. Add 1 - 2 tbsp canola oil, enough to coat the surface.
Reduce heat to medium, add the salmon, presentation side down. Cook without disturbing until the fish turns opaque halfway from the bottom up. The fillets will be browning nicely.
Turn the heat off. Turn fillets over and quickly spoon glaze over them. Immidiately transfer to hot oven, bake 5 minutes.

While the salmon is baking, prepare the baby bok choy:

Steamed Baby Bok Choy

8 baby bok choy
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup water

Trim the base of each bok choy, being careful to leave them intact. Remove any damaged leaves.
Heat a large skillet over med heat.
Drizzle the olive oil to coat the surface.
Add the chopped shallot, cook 2 - 3 minutes until tender.
Add the water and bok choy.
Cover tightly with lid and steam for 3 minutes.
Season lightly with a little pinch of salt.

1 comment:

Lukrisi said...

I too love quinoa. My family isn't as into it as I am. But it's God's perfect food. I think that's what manna really was... Quinoa.

I look foward to trying your recipe. :-)