Try sprinkling it on pancakes
How many times have you tried to make a pot of quinoa and failed miserably? I know I have. Add too much water and the grains go gummy; too little and the whole pot will burn. There’s got to be a better way!
I recently chatted with Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who has teamed up with Lysol to create a few three-ingredient recipes. As Guarnaschelli described her recipe for a quinoa and chicken bowl (one of her favorite savory breakfasts) I was captivated by her quinoa-cooking method, the majority of which takes place in the oven.
Guarnaschelli told me that once she started making quinoa in the oven, the pot of grains came out fluffy and tender every time. The chef noted that many grain-based dishes like pilafs are cooked in the oven, and reacts the same way.
This cooking method starts on the stove. Guarnaschelli recommends cooking 1½ cups of quinoa and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-safe saucepan until the grains begin to crackle. This toasts the quinoa, giving the grains a slight nutty flavor. After adding a pinch of salt and 3½ cups of water to the saucepan, Guarnaschelli brings the mixture to a simmer, then transfers the the pot to a 350ºF oven. She lets the mixture cook until the water evaporates, which typically takes 12-15 minutes.
Guarnaschelli also mentioned that the water-to-quinoa ratio is just as important as the cooking method when in comes to avoiding gummy grains. When cooking quinoa on the stove, the chef recommended when using a bit less water than the 1:1 ratio typically called for in cooking instructions.
When the oven-cooked quinoa is ready, Guarnaschelli recommends fluffing the grains with a fork before serving. Not only does she serve this quinoa with savory breakfasts, Chef Guarnaschelli also notes that she loves to sprinkle cooked quinoa over pancakes before flipping for some extra texture.