I have been on a huge quinoa kick of late. I recently became enamored with the idea of quinoa stew. Though to be honest, this recipe really started because I (finally) am now the proud owner of a mandoline, and I desperately wanted to make pickled onions. I hate slicing onions, I react very exuberantly (like tearing until I can't see and then I promptly cut my thumb, arrgh) so this is a real godsend for me. I have already promised to always use the guard---I want to keep all my finger tips, I am quite fond of them.
So the pickled red onion recipe I used (as a jumping off point) is here:http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/09/pickled-red-onions/
I used peppercorns, cloves, a bay leaf and an Indian dried pepper I had on hand as well as a cinnamon stick. Note the liquid did not cover the onions for me, a large onion sliced to 1/8 inch thickness. They still turned out delicious.
So now that I had this lovely sweet sour slightly crispy element with complex flavors, I thought it would complement something rich quite nicely, and I naturally gravitated to Latin American flavors. After googling for ideas, I decided to make a pork and quinoa stew. I ended up using pork country ribs (which are a shoulder cut) which worked beautifully.Peruvian Inspired Pork and Quinoa StewIngredients
1 1/2 pound(s) uncooked country-style pork ribs
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, yellow chopped
1 cup uncooked scallion(s), chopped including 1/3 green part
10 baby carrots, chopped
1 orange bell pepper (or whatever color you like), chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 serrano chile, chopped fine- optional
1 tbsp ground cumin (estimate)
1-2 tsp ground coriander (estimate)
1-2 tsp Penzey's vindaloo seasoning
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/2 cup red wine
2 cans of diced tomatoes, I used fire roasted
3-4 cup(s) water
3/4 cup(s) uncooked quinoa, rinsed well before using
Cut the pork off the bone into ~1 inch cubes. Save the bones. Season well with salt and pepper.
Using a large dutch oven, add 1 tbsp of canola oil and brown the pork in batches on all sides for about 5-7 minutes (along with the bones!). Remove and set aside.
Add 1 tbsp of canola oil and add all chopped veggies and saute/sweat over medium heat for ~5 min (if you used a pepper, no sniffing unless you what to have a horrible wheezing attack. Not that I know from experience). Add spices and cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Deglaze pan with wine.
Return pork to pan and add tomatoes, water and bring to a boil then simmer covered for 1.5 to 2 hours until pork is tender. Season to taste at this point if desired with salt, pepper.
About 20-25 min before planning to serve, add rinsed quinoa to pot. Cook (still simmering) until quinoa is done (about 20-25 minutes).
Serve bowls of stew topped with pickled red onions. Yummy. C's only complaint was that there was no cornbread to sop this up with. An oversight, admittedly.
Makes 6 servings, WW Points plus 11 points per serving (servings are about 2 cups, so generous)
I need to make more pickles; clearly I find them inspiring.