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Uncle Williams Moroccan Squash & Carrot Ragout With Red Quinoa

William came to us out of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco; back in the day when we backpacked through the country we met an old hippie who had found his peace among the golden sands in the country of sand and light. He was on his way to the Almond Tree Blossom Festival when our paths crossed and in return for a wee bit of news back in the states, he graced us with this fine recipe. Thank you kind sir, may your camel never go thirsty.

Uncle Williams Moroccan Squash & Carrot Ragout With Red Quinoa

2 tablespoons Oil
one half Sweet Onion, chopped (approx 1 cup chopped)
2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
2 teaspoons Sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 teaspoon Salt
one half teaspoon Medium Grind black Pepper
one half teaspoon Ground Coriander
one half teaspoon Ground Cumin
one half teaspoon Turmeric
one half teaspoon Ground Ginger
one half teaspoon Cayenne
Pinch Saffron
1 Cup Water
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
2 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Medium Butternut Squash Cut Into 1 inch Cubes (approx. 3-4 Cups)
2 Cups Carrots cut into 1/2 inch rounds

In a Dutch oven or 12" deep skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion; lower heat to medium and sauté, stirring, for about 5", until softened. While onions cook, blend Paprika and next 8 spices in a small bowl. Reserve.

Add Granulated Garlic to onions. Stir. Cook, stirring for about 1". Add spice mix, stir. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add Water, Tomatoes, and Lemon juice. Stir. Bring to a boil. Add Squash and Carrots. Stir. Cover. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Lower heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables are tender (approx. 30"). Stir occasionally.

1 Cup Red Quinoa
2 teaspoons Canola Oil
2 teaspoons Butter
one half Sweet Onion, finely chopped (approx. 1/2 Cup)
one quarter Cup Finely Chopped Carrots
1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
one half teaspoon Salt
one half teaspoon Turmeric
2 cups liquid (I prefer 1 Cup Chicken Stock & 1 Cup Water)

Rinse Quinoa in strainer, drain well (most domestic Quinoa is pre-rinsed but this is still a good cautionary measure). In large saucepan, heat butter & oil over medium-high heat.

Add Onion & Carrot. Saute, stirring frequently, until browned and softened (5"-10"). Add Granulated Garlic, Salt, and Turmeric. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add quinoa and 2 Cups Liquid. Bring to a boil. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low/low and cover. (you want it to just simmer- don't rush it). Simmer until liquid is absorbed and Quinoa is tender (seeds will "pop" during cooking creating little sqiggley things that are one sign of "doneness".) This takes 15-20 minutes.

Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Chopped Fresh Mint (ratio of 2 parts cilantro to 1 part mint)

Spoon Quinoa onto a platter or plates. Form a small well in center. Spoon Ragout into well. Sprinkle with a little of both herbs.

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