This dish has been a big hit as a side dish at Calhoun. The kids at Calhoun were fascinated to learn that quinoa is not a grain but a seed. It looks like a grain and reacts like a grain when cooked but it is still a seed. You can see the stamen in cooked "grain". It's nutty and delicious as a replacement for rice.
Place a saucepan on high heat and get it hot. Add the olive oil and swirl it around to make sure the entire surface is covered with oil. Add the shallot and sweat (cook until translucent but not brown). Add the crimini mushrooms and cook until brown. Add the quinoa, thyme leaves, bay leaf, kosher salt and black pepper to the pan and stir. Let the ingredients heat up and roast a little to bring out all their fullest flavors. The steam coming up should be very aromatic.
Slowly and carefully add the vegetable stock (it will spatter because the pan and ingredients are hot). When it comes to full boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and allow to steam for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove lid and fluff the quinoa and then replace the lid and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Serve.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Robert "Chef Bobo" Surles, The Calhoun School, New York, NY