Okay, so actually this recipe is called "Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs." This recipe comes from the latest issue of Food and Wine. I'm a big fan of quinoa, the flavor, ease of cooking and how healthy it is, so this recipe immediately caught my eye as I was browsing my impulse-magazine-purchase on the last leg of our trip home.
It didn't hurt that the little intro to the recipe in the magazine explained that the Incas used to call quinoa a "magic food" because they'd eat it and have all this energy (it is a complete protein source), and now they'd added the "magic flavor," bacon!
HH loved this, especially the toasted almonds and bacon!
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
1 sage sprig
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, 4 minutes; let cool.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until the fat has rendered, about 2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring a few times, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa, stock and sage and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the stock has been absorbed, about 17 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the sage and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the chives, parsley and toasted almonds. Season the quinoa with salt and pepper and serve.
A couple of notes: I didn't have a shallot (why do so many recipes these days call for shallots? As though they think common home chefs have it in their kitchens all the time ... I don't even know if grocery stores in Billings regularly stock shallots!), so I substituted a small onion and two cloves of garlic. Also, I didn't have chives, so I didn't bother. And I used about 1/2 tsp. dried, rubbed sage.
I'd heard that you're supposed to rinse quinoa, like you're supposed to rinse rice, and so I gave it a try for the first time (and a lot of residue and chaff did float to the surface). I was afraid to put it in a colander because it would just go through the holes, so I ended up swirling it in a bowl with water and then dumping off as much water as I could. There ended up being quite a bit of water left in with the quinoa, which I think made the end product a little soggy -- in the future, I'll maybe reduce the chicken broth by half a cup to compensate.
One final note, this tasted a little salty to me -- which is interesting because the chix broth was low-sodium and that was the only salty ingredient besides the bacon. Not sure how to change this ... we had it with rotisserie chicken, which cut the salt flavor, but in the future I might use half chicken broth and half water.
So, there you go! This is an easy, delicious and relatively healthy recipe (except for the bacon). Add more quinoa to your diet!