Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not Mac&Cheese

This is the photo from the original recipe found here.

I am always looking for more power-packed ways to cook foods that people (my family) already love, and this really fit the bill! Because it was the first time making it, I wanted it in it's basic form, so I didn't add any veggies, etc. this time. I wanted to make the foundation. As usual, I felt the need to tweak.

1 1/2 c. quinoa (I used a blend of white and red)
generous pinch of seasoned salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1 c. milk, any variety
1/2 package American cheese
1 1/2 c. blend of cheeses, shredded (I used medium cheddar and jack)
handful of fresh chives or 2 tsp. dry chives
1/2 tsp. cayenne
Panko bread crumbs
olive oil for drizzling
any desired toppings: salsa, scallions, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc.

Directions to cook quinoa:
First rinse your quinoa very, very well in a fine mesh strainer. If you don't rinse, it will taste bitter. For a softer texture, you will need to soak for 30 minutes by setting the strainer in a bowl full of enough water to cover your seeds. If you want a firmer texture with a little *pop* when you chew, you can skip the soak or soak for 10 minutes.

Add quinoa with 2 c. water in a pan. Some say salt the water, but it will result in a firmer texture. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight lid, lower to simmer. 

Cook for 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid. Remove from heat, leaving the lid alone, and let sit another 10-15 minutes. Fluff with fork.

Not Mac&Cheese;
Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9x9 pan (13x9 for doubled recipe)

Whisk together eggs, milk, herbs, and spices. Pour into quinoa and stir. Add cheeses, reserving 1/2 c. of shredded cheeses. Let them melt together while stirring gently.

Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with bread crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil. 

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.