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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Risotto de quinua y pimientos amarillos (Quinoa risotto with yellow peppers) (Chilean and Bolivian)

This risotto made with quinoa is considered by many as the staple / national dish of both Chilean and Bolivian cuisines. It's rich and delicious from the grated cheese and the butter, and greatly flavored with the aji amarillo (orange pepper) ever present in South American cuisines. If you can find aji paste at a specialty store it would be great, but if not, you can just use it raw; the risotto with taste just as delicious. :)
To be honest, I think I very much prefer this to regular risotto. Just try it and you'll see. It's absolutely delicious. I think even people who are usually not very keen on quinoa will love it.
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Leek, potato and bacon soup (British).
Two years ago: Halloumi and chickpea salad with mint and oranges.
Three years ago: Bell pepper sticks with refried bean dip.
Four years ago: Tikka Masala chicken cous cous (British-Indian) and Czech poppy seed cakes (kolaches).

Ingredients (serves 2):
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 orange-hued long-shaped pepper (aji amarilio) (or 1 tablespoon aji paste mixed with 2 tablespoons water)
  • 1 cup grated hard cheese
  • 50 g butter (divided in two equal parts)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and peper to taste

Clean the pepper and discard its innards. Chop it into very small cubes. Melt the butter in a deep pan, then add the quinoa and the aji amarillo cubes (or paste, if you managed to find any). Toast them in the butter, stirring, for about 3-4 minutes, then add the broth. Let it cook, covered, until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (stir every now and then).

Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and the grated cheese:

Mix well, season with extra salt and pepper if you want, and it's done. Transfer to serving bowls and dig in! :)

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