Sunday, November 14, 2010

VeganMoFo IV: Iron Chef-Quinoa Caviar

When I went to bed Friday night I woke up with a crazypants idea for Iron Chef.  I knew that I wanted to do something unexpected with quinoa.  I wanted to go sweet, but all I could think of was an oatmeal type dish.  Then I started thinking that quinoa was a super protein, so why not use it as a meat replacement?  I thought about burgers but I found so many dynamite looking ones, I thought mine would be horrible in comparison.  I wanted to create a dish inspired by quinoa's "pop."  It made me think of two things...caviar and tapioca.  Crazily, caviar isn't a completely original idea...but it still seemed like fun!

with sriracha
Quinoa Caviar
cilantro onion sour cream:
6 oz vegan sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
2 green onions, minced
tiny splash umeboshi vinegar

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tsp umeboshi vinegar

2 nori sheets,  minced or processed into small pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp grated ginger plus more to taste
1 portobello mushroom (stem removed), diced small
1/2 Tbsp red miso plus more to taste
good squeeze of sriracha

blini, toast points, crackers, or crostini
sriracha (optional)
cilantro for garnish

Mix together sour cream, cilantro, green onions, and umeboshi vinegar in a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours so the flavors meld.

In a small saucepan, pour the water over the quinoa.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, and lower to a simmer.  Simmer until water is fully absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool with the lid on.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic, ginger, and portobello.  Heat until almost all the moisture is out of the mushroom, about 10 minutes.  Add mushroom mixture, nori, and red miso to a food processor.  Process until everything is finely chopped.

Pour quinoa into a small bowl.  Add the mushroom mixture to the quinoa, along with sriracha.  Mix thoroughly and add more miso and grated ginger to taste.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours.

To assemble: take a blini, cover with a bit of sour cream, drizzle with a bit of sriracha, top with quinoa caviar, and garnish with cilantro.

looking all sinister
Don't ask me if this tastes anything like the real thing.  I've only ever had vegan caviar, and Era ate most of that.  I just knew I wanted seaweed and miso as the key flavors and built on it from there.

I feel like this was a rather tasty attempt, which was surprising to me.  My expectation was to make something and laugh at how horrible it was.  Ha ha.  When I tried it on the blini, I thought I could have made the quinoa even saltier because it didn't punch quite enough.  I'd definitely fiddle around with this recipe because it could be kinda cool looking as an hors d'oeuvre at a party.

I will most definitely play around with flavor combinations, as well, because I really want to use dill the next time.

I also made a nog flavored quinoa tapioca pudding, but wasn't impressed.  The quinoa definitely takes away from the tapioca.

That's all for now!  I have some blini to eat and a mess to clean up.


tiffannysketchbook said...

drool.... thanks for sharing these. really appreciate!

Jen Treehugger said...

Oooh they looks amazing Mo!

Jenn said...

Ooh, those look so cute and delicious!

Luciana said...

I have a plate like that! I love the idea, it looks really tasty!

BunzOfCinnamon said...

Wow! Awesome job, once again! You're so creative!! said...

What an awesome idea.

Zoa said...

The originality of this is way impressive. I have had caviar, back in my distant pre-vegan past, and quinoa would, truly, approximate the texture. Dunno about the flavour, but it looks like you've created something pretty tasty. Anyway, how can you go too far wrong with pancakes, vegan sour cream, and miso?

jessy said...

i had never had caviar before, but i am excited to try your quinoa caviar, Mo! it looks really tasty and fun, too! :) one of times i'm gonna get off my lazy bum and participate in one of the Iron Chef challenges, but until then i'll drool over all the awesomenesses all you participants create. mmmmmmmmmm!

celyn said...

What a good idea! I totally want to make this now.

Anonymous said...

It looks really good!In a disturbing caviar way.

Anonymous said...

Between the quinoa, nori, and mushrooms, I love, love, love the sound of this! Definitely my sort of flavors, and anything that's almost sort of like "caviar" has my attention. Saving, and definitely trying the recipe!

x said...

That looks fantastic, Mo! I might even try it even though I think real caviar is gross!

dreaminitvegan said...

Wow I likey. What a nice idea.

veronica said...

wow, Mo, this looks AWESOME. i love me some blinis!

Veg-In-Training said...

That is fantastic. What a fun interpretation!

Callie {Rawxy} said...

Quinoa Caviar!? Brilliant!