Saturday, 17 September 2011

Red quinoa

I'm not sure why I never buy quinoa except for that it is a little intimidating. I think I made it once and it didn't taste right. There are all sorts of strategies out there for cooking grains and it's hard to know which ones work best.

A kitchen-changing moment came to me the other day when I was in London Drugs waiting for a prescription. I was standing in the magazine aisle with a handful of cooking magazines secretly hoping the pharmacy would take longer than 20 minutes because how was I going to look through all of these magazines in 20 minutes?

In one magazine I found a brief, 1 page, how-to article on cooking rice. The message was that if you cook brown rice like you cook pasta, in lots of water which you drain after, that your rice will not be mushy from the excess starch that settles around the rice when you steam it. That article came to my mind when I was about to make my red quinoa. I'm sure I steamed it before and that did not work out. So I tried boiling it as the article suggested and it was perfect.

Preparing Red Quinoa
  1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil.
  2. Add quinoa and stir.
  3. Cook at a low boil for about 15 minutes, stirring a few times and tasting periodically to test the texture.
  4. Drain quinoa and serve.

*Another note about the quinoa is that apparently it can have saponin on it (a bitter taste) that is removed by soaking quinoa first. I rinsed mine a few time briefly before cooking but I'll bet with the boiling method this is something you dont have to worry about since you drain the water after anyways.

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