Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blue Plate Report: A KEEN-wah Primer

Another Blue Plate success (accorning to Phineas)! How's this for Tuesday night dinner in under an hour?

Lamb chops with chimichurri, quinoa risotto and asparagus

First, I got the quinoa going (recipe below). While it cooked, I pan roasted the lamb chops and made a very easy chimichurri sauce to go with them in the cuisinart - just blend a bunch of parsley and mint with garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil to emulsify.

I sauteed the asparagus in the lamb pan while the lamb was resting. As it cooked, I added the finishing touches to the risotto. The last step was dressing the asparagus with a little extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

Quinoa "Risotto"
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive or other oil
  • 1/2 c wine
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 c water or stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
Sweat shallot and garlic in oil. Add wine and reduce until the liquid is mostly gone. Add water and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa, put on lid, reduce to low, and cook like rice - no need to compulsively stir! Add water if needed so it doesn't burn or stick. When quinoa is tender and most water is absorbed (20 min or so), stir in parmesan and butter. Taste and adjust by adding more cheese and butter, salt and pepper, etc.

Tip: Any herbs or spices, sherry or vermouth for the wine, or the ingredients of your favorite risotto (mushroom, other veg, other cheese at the end, etc) would work here. I meant to add peas about halfway thru cooking and simply forgot. This would have been a nice touch.

Tip: Take your pantry seriously if you want good weekday eats. Aside from the lamb, asparagus, parsley and mint, everything was from the pantry. Yes, even the lemon juice - it came from one of those lemon-shaped bottles that you get in the produce section. The parsley and mint (now chimichurri) are now in the pantry, too. I made enough to last several weeks - we use it on all kinds of meats as a sauce, a marinade, and a sandwich spread. We've even brushed it on cod and then steamed the fish. Delicious!

1 comment:

2BSewing: said...

Looks yummy! (and that's coming from a vegetarian!) Thanks for sharing your Quinoa "Risotto" recipe. ;)