Sunday, January 08, 2006

Battle "Burn, Baby, Burn"

I can't figure out why, all day, I've had the music from "Backdraft" — you know, the fireman movie Opie directed — running through my head. I kinda like it, though. (For a listen, go to the bottom of the page and cut and paste #1 in a new browser window; I can't make the link work)
Anyway, so I'm in my kitchen stadium (ha ha, just my silly name for the cluttered little space where I dream up fabulous new meals using the most unique, original combinations of ingredients). I'm suddenly struck by the craziest idea , so crazy it just might work! What if I tried putting together a dish made with the unlikely — but staggeringly genius, bwah-ha-hah! — foursome of (oh, I'm blinded by my brilliance): quinoa, cashews, yogurt, and today's "theme ingredient" (I wonder why I called it that) of — hold your horses, it's insane — anything from the "baby" family of foods! Get it? Baby vegetables! Or, well, maybe Baby Ruth (it could happen!). Heh, or even baby food, as in baby food. Pabulum. Mother's milk (ew, OK, not that). Strained peas. You see where I'm going.
Never work, you say? Oh, wait a sec, I've spattered something on my yellow satin chef's jacket. There, got it.
I assemble my ingenious foods before me, and let my instincts run hot. Yeah, "Backdraft" hot! And before you can say "Yukio Hattari" (listen to me, and I don't even speak German), I've nailed it!
Two fillling servings

1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (look up how to cook it on some vegan Web site; that's what I did)
1/2 cup apple juice
Most of a small jar of tropical fruit baby food; (save about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chopped salted, roasted cashews; (set aside two teaspoons for garnish)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 or two pinches dried, shredded coconut; (as much as you like, but let's not make this a dominant flavor)
One or two shakes of ground allspice

You probably cooked the quinoa in a saucepan and were horrified to discover that it doubles, or even triples, in bulk. You scooped out about half the cooked quinoa and spread it out on a plate to cool and dry off some, and then you returned your attention to the soft-squishy-crunchy quinoa still in the pot. Let it stay in the pot. This is where you'll be working for the next 15 minutes
(Voice in head, inexplicably mellifluous, says: "45 minutes remaining." Hm. Odd. And what's with that tension-building music? (#2) Makes me nervous.)
Add the rest of the ingredients, cover the pot, and simmer (it's more kinda just steaming itself) gently for 15 minutes.
Remove the cover and let the fragrant quinoa blow off some steam for a few minutes while you set up your tripod.
("30 minutes remaining." Did you have to spend so long finding the room with the best light?)
Hurry, because now you're going to stir into the pot with the quinoa:
3 big, sloppy tablespoons plain, whole-milk yogurt
Nearly done.
("Fukui-san!" What? Shut up! Get that camera out of my face!)
Preheat the broiler, and find the ramekins. (They're back there with the seldom-used springform pan and the cookie-cooling racks. You do not bake often.)
("15 minutes remaining." Damn, they were hard to find.)
Fill each ramekin (about 8-ounce size) with the creamy quinoa mixture. Top each with half the reserved cashews. Sprinkle over them:
2 teaspoons brown sugar (one teaspoon on each ramekin)
Run them under the broiler for a minute or two, until the sugar melts and the cashews brown slightly.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly while you mix:
2 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons leftover fruity baby food
Drizzle (or swirl, if you're talented) this surprisingly tasty "sauce" over the nut-sugar brulée portion of our cooking experience today.

Photograph. Eat.
You win, with time to spare!
(Oh, that music (#3) again!)

#3: (Scroll down to "Tracks" and click on the first song.)

Tagged with:


Kevin said...


What led you to choose allspice?

cookiecrumb said...

Kevin: I'm glad you asked. As soon as we came up with the "novel" idea of quinoa pudding, I discovered on all those vegan Web sites a persistently circulating recipe for quinoa pudding with soy milk, raisins and cinnamon. I just find cinnamon too insistent... so when I opened the spice cabinet, there was a little jar of allspice. And allspice is grown in Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico -- it seemed tropical.

Alanna said...

VERY funny post - isn't Paper Chef fun some times?

ilva said...

cc-I just tagged you for a kind of meme-challenge, do it if you feel like it!

Kevin said...


I was curious because for some reason I used allspice in mmy recipe too, but I still don't know what prompted me.

Sam said...

funny coockie crumb.
did you know that the giraffe is one of my favourite-looking animals?

Mona said...

If it's good enough for giraffe and poochie it's good enough for me. Looks great!

cookiecrumb said...

My college roommate's favorite animal was a camel, so I can understand. (BTW, those are Bean Sprout's toys. But you guessed that.)

mg said...

You are so funny. Hold on, i've told you that already...

I have a friend who loves camel too. Everywhere i go, i'm searching for camel gifts. I thought she's the only one.

b'gina said...

Damn, Cookie. That sounds delicious. My head must be fried or something. I couldn't think of anything to do with the PC ingredients this time.

Way to go!

lisa--In a Nutshell said...

I now hereby dub you "Miss Full of Ideas"!!!!

Cate said...

You crack me up.

MagicTofu said...

It's funny, I also made a quinoa pudding but unlike you I took the traditional road (cinnamon, etc.). I still have some quinoa left, I think I'll try making a something similar to what you have done.

mrs d said...

First: allspice: yum!

Second: I read Sam's comment as giraffe is one of my favourite cooking animals" and it scared the crap out of me.

Third: Chopper is in the other room watching Iron Chef this very moment, so I don't even have to fire up your MP3s. :-)