Monday, January 17, 2011

Tabasco & Asparagus Quinoa

Did you know Texas Pete is made in Winston-Salem, NC? It should be called Winston-Salem Pete but I guess naming it after Texas gives it a little more ‘street cred.’ Another interesting fact I learned through making this dish – quinoa is a very fun ingredient with which to work in the kitchen. These teeny, tiny discs of dullness turn into cups and cups of fluffy, light protein-packed deliciousness. And they have these little curlicues in them that pop out when they are cooked so it’s like a little surprise hidden inside an unassuming package. Oh and it is pronounced “Keen-wah.” At least I think it is.

This is one of those meals that will last you awhile. Make it on a Monday and plan on eating off it all week. You can mix it up and add a scrambled egg to it or throw some grilled chicken or shrimp on a reheated serving. And if we are still doing the ‘resolution’ thing, this dish is perfect. Hearty, good-for-you grain? Check! Heavy on the protein side? Check! Has some fresh veggies? Check! After watching the Golden Globes and Miss America this weekend, I am even more inspired to be able to wear a backless Armani PrivĂ© dress like the best of them (I’m talking to you Anne Hathaway). Or rock a tiara and sash like it’s my job. (I’m already pretty close on that one.)

And don’t let the butter scare you. It is not much for a very large batch of quinoa. The original calls for twice the amount as listed below and says you serve it on the side but I halved it and only used that amount. I figured I could add more Tabasco (or Texas Pete!) if I wanted even more flavor.

Tabasco & Asparagus Quinoa
From 101 Cookbooks, another great cooking blog and you may recognize her cookbooks!
Serves 4 - 6

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp Dijon mustard
12 drops Tabasco (or Texas Pete!) sauce
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
sprinkling of salt

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments

2 c uncooked quinoa
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
more Tabasco (or Texas Pete!) sauce to taste

Cook Quinoa - Combine 2 cups of well-rinsed dried quinoa with 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until quinoa is tender and you can see the little quinoa curlicues.

Make Tabasco Butter - In a food processor, or with a hand blender, whip the butter until it is light and airy. Add the mustard, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and salt. As I mention above, you can make it stronger if you like, adding more hot sauce to taste, or wait and add it to your individual servings.

Boil the asparagus in a large pot of well salted water, for just for a minute or so - depending on the thickness of your asparagus. Drain. Stop the cooking with cold water or a dunk in an ice bath, then drain well before using.

Take the 4 cups of hot cooked quinoa and toss with the tabasco butter. Stir in the asparagus and pine nuts.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

MJ- I just made this, and it's delicious. My 18 month old is a big fan too. Thanks so much for posting the recipe!