Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quinoa and Rice with Corn and Chorizo

Quinoa is a wonderful grain with a light nutty flavor. I often include it in my mixed-grain pilafs. This was a spur of the moment, "the pantry is empty" recipe that ended up tasting delicious. I've made it several times since I first tossed everything together.

Quinoa and Rice with Corn and Chorizo


  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and chilies
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t (heaping) chili powder
  • water
  • 1 chorizo, diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • dried, minced onion, reconstituted
  • chopped avocado
  • shredded cheese
  • chopped cilantro

  1. In a sturdy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and the rice and two kinds of quinoa. Stir well, be sure that everything is coated.
  4. Dump the Rotel tomatoes, chilies and juice into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 2 1/2 cups.
  5. Add the spices to the rice and onion mixture, stir well, increase heat to high and add the tomato and water mixture.
  6. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and let cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let sit at least 10 minutes before removing the lid. The longer it sits, the better.
  7. In a medium-sized skillet, saute the diced chorizo in olive oil over medium-high heat until browned.
  8. Add the corn and reconstituted onion, stir well and cook until it's as browned as you like. I like the corn to have a bit of color.
  9. When it's done, add the chorizo mixture to the grains, stir well. Serve in a bowl topped with cheese, avocado and cilantro.

Notes: This recipe uses my basic pilaf technique:
  • I saute the aromatics (chopped onion or shallot) in olive oil over fairly high heat until it just starts to sweat and turns translucent, then add the garlic and then almost immediately the grains.
  • Up the heat to high, stirring pretty frequently, making sure that the grains are nicely coated. You can saute them longer until they're slightly browned and give off a nutty smell, and then add the liquid.
  • Cover immediately with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil I like to use a pot that has a glass lid so I can see exactly when it's come to a nice boil - then lower the heat and let simmer for 13-15 minutes. This is where the glass lid comes in handy. You can see the surface of the rice if there are holes, like small craters where the hot air has forced through but there is no more liquid bubbling, it's perfect.
  • Turn off the heat, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before you remove the lid to fluff the rice.
  • I use this for mixed-grain pilafs and when I was a dairy eater, would add grated cheese and a pat of butter at the very end when I would stir in the last ingredients.
  • One of my favorite mixed-grain pilafs uses 1/2 cup of rice, 1/4 cup of bulgur and 1/4 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of liquid.

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