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!
CREAMY QUINOA PUDDING WITH TROPICAL FLAVORS
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
Technique: 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
("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.
You win, with time to spare!
(Oh, that music (#3) again!)
#3: http://www.oldies.com/product-view/96072.html (Scroll down to "Tracks" and click on the first song.)
Tagged with: Paper Chef