Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A dish specially dedicated to B., who passionately loves quinoa. (not). Much for his despair, quinoa invaded the summer salad world and then slowly start to creep up into brunch domains and now makes an appearance in pudding-land. Actually, this is a sort of upside down deconstructed crumble (minus butter) also ideal for a brunch menu… It is very tasty, filling and it can even be considered  * gasp * super healthy.

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake (adapted from a recipe found in fitsugar.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 apples, peeled, diced
  • 1/4 cup (app 50g)raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (500mL) milk with the seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • 1/4 (50mL) cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 (app 75g) cup almonds, chopped

Methods 

Preheat the oven to 200oC. Lightly grease a baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix the uncooked quinoa with the spices. Pour into the greased dish. Sprinkle the apple and raisins on top of the quinoa.

In that same small bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the milk and maple syrup. Pour the egg-and-milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.

Bake for 1 hour or until the casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left.

Allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate.

 


Roasted pork loin with orange and apple jam

2010-12-25_19-1
Around 1975, long before celebrity chef storm over the global media outlets, the Portuguese Chef Silva had a very popular TV show called Tele Culinária [Tele Culinary]. Every week, all the country stopped in front of the tele to watch Chef Silva doing his creations, normally with loads of cream, double cream and different types of fat. It was such a popular TV show that it soon became a weekly magazine, with a special section for the televised recipe (apparently, first number went out on October 4th, 1976). My Mother never forgot to buy it and consistently gave a go to some of the recipes. Some of them became part of the family tradition – like the pumpkin cakes she always does on Christmas.

The roasted pork loin with orange was taken from Recipes for My Friends, a recently edited book. On the forefront, Chef Silva explains that these are the things he cooks whenever he entertains as “life tastes sweeter when friends and family join you at the table”. By the look of it, you can almost feel Chef Silva dictating from memory or looking for scribbled papers tucked away into the kitchen drawer.

Chef Silva recommends to serve the roasted pork with orange quarters. But, I thought that would be too many citruses in the same plate, and decided to go for apple jam instead. This is my Mother’s recipe, passed along in a moment of despair during a trip to the supermarket. “Why spend all that money in a sugary artificial paste, when it takes less than 20 minutes to to it home…. go and fetch some apples! You kids cannot value money and properly made food”. She was, as most of times, right.

Roasted pork loin with orange

Ingredients

  • 800g of pork loin (I used shoulder, following the butcher’s recommendation)
  • white wine
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 50g lard (impossible to find here, I used olive oil instead)
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • cloves

Method

Poor the wine over the meat and season it with salt and pepper. Place on the tray greased with the lard and roast it on a oven set for 160oC for about 35min. Turn the meat occasionally.

In the meanwhile, prepare the sauce: heat up the sugar in a small pan and stir it with a wooden spoon until it browns (brown, not burnt, I may add. It is really important to stir it at all times). Add 2dl of orange juice, 2 cloves and thin orange peels cut into diamond like shapes (slowly, otherwise the sugar will crystallize; if it does, just keep stirring until it dissolves). When serving, stick the diamonds to the meat using cloves.

Serve the orange sauce apart.

Apple jam

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg apples (bitter apples give best results)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Cinnamon sticks

Method

Peel and cut the apples in quarters. Put in a sauce pan with about 100ml of water, sugar and cinnamon sticks. Let it simmer for 10 min or until the apples start to feel apart. Remove the Cinnamon and blend it with a mixer. Put back into the fire and let it simmer for a few minutes more, until it gets the desired consistency.  ith a mixer. Put back into the fire and let it simmer for a few minutes more, until it gets the desired consistency.


Apple, sage and goat cheese salad

Img_0480

T. brought this  warm apples, nuts, sage, goat cheese and autumn leaves salad last time she came home for dinner. “Did you know Mafalda Pinto Leite?”, she asked, while she took over the kitchen and put the salad together. “Mafalda who?” I answered. Clearly,  I was missing out on something.  The recipe is from the book Cozinha Para Quem Não Tem Tempo (in a very liberal translation from the Portuguese, Cooking for Those Who Have No Time)

Apple, sage and goat cheese salad 

Ingredients (4 persons)

  • 60g butter without salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sage leafs (no chopping needed).
  • 3 tablespoons of white vinegar (I used cherry vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (cane sugar will also work fine)
  • 2 green apples without core and cut in quarters.
  • Half  mug of chopped nuts
  • 100g de rucola or red spinach (I used a bag of autumn leaves)
  • 150g of sliced goat cheese (the creamy one)

Method

Put the butter, sage, vinegar and sugar in a frying pan (low heat). When the butter has melted, add the nuts and the apples and. Let cook for a few minutes or until the fruit is tender.

Make a bed of leafs in the dishes, and place the apples and the nuts on top. Reserve the juice that was left on the pan, and poor it over the nuts and apples. Finish with the sliced goat cheese.

Total time of cooking: 8 minutes-ish. Looking for the right ingredients in the cupboard: one eternity.