Monday, July 30, 2012

Pork-Fried Quinoa – Oh Say Can You Seed?

Finally, after only five or six hundred requests, we’re posting a quinoa recipe! People love eating this “super food” for all the obvious nutritional reasons, but based on the emails I’ve received, they’re constantly searching for new and delicious ways to use it.

Well, this was so tasty, so fast, and so easy, I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t make it into the regular rotation. And don’t think for a minute that we’ve simply overwhelmed the quinoa with a bunch of high-calorie, unhealthy ingredients, because that’s not the case. Not that I’m above such culinary shenanigans; but it just wasn’t necessary.

I was really surprised how decadent and satisfying this seemed, and with only a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and a handful of very lean smoked ham. These tiny quinoa seeds (that’s right, now you can sound like a d-bag correcting your foodie friends at cocktail parties who call this a “grain”) really are sponges for flavor. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I can’t wait to experiment with other quinoa creations.

By the way, if you’re an experienced quinoa cooker, and have any great tips, please pass them along. I’m not sure how this would work with the other varieties/colors of quinoa. I assume it would, but have never used them. I also used less water than the directions call for, but wanted the seeds to be a little “al dente,” which seemed to work well here.

Anyway, whether you’re an experienced quinoaista or a newbie like me, I hope you give this delicious pork-fried quinoa a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 small servings:
1 cup quinoa
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup diced smoked ham
1/2 cup diced peppers
1/2 cup sliced green onions
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 or 2 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
Sriracha, or any hot sauce to taste
toasted sesame seeds to taste
Bonus Quinoa Esoterica:

When my friend Tamar, from the always entertaining blog Starving Off the Land, heard I was doing a quinoa post, she sent me this photo. At first glace, this looks like some new variety of grey quinoa, but they're actually tiny oysters! Tamar farms oysters on Cape Cod, and you're looking at roughly 50,000 baby bivalves. Simply amazing. Thanks, Tamar!