Quinoa does not act like arborio rice and does not turn creamy when cooked slowly. The creaminess of this dish comes from added heavy cream, but the flavor is delicious and the texture of the quinoa grain is very pleasing.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 pieces of bacon, chopped
- 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
- 1-2 teaspoons aji chile pepper paste (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 12 ounces of uncooked quinoa (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, garlic, and bacon and sauté in the butter until onions are soft and turning translucent.
- Add the chopped red pepper, mushrooms, chile paste, cumin, and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes more, or until mushrooms have reduced in size and mixture is fragrant. Transfer vegetables to a bowl or plate and set aside.
- Add quinoa to the same saucepan and toast briefly over medium heat. Add wine and simmer until liquid is almost gone. Begin adding chicken stock, one cup at a time. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, then add more as needed. Quinoa should be ready after about 15-20 minutes. When quinoa is cooked, the grain looks translucent and you can see a little thread, or "tail" on the grain. If you run out of chicken stock, use water. There should be a little liquid left when the quinoa is done.
- Stir vegetable mixture back in with the quinoa. Add cream and parmesan, and heat several minutes more, stirring, until cheese is melted and everything is hot.
- Stir in the cilantro, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm.