I've been experimenting with quinoa for some time now and have thought of using it in rice pudding. Using coconut milk in place of regular milk adds a new dimension. This pudding has a nice backdrop of orange and vanilla and the cinnamon-flavored coconut topping makes for a nice little crunch. —inpatskitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
After my first trip to Hawaii earlier this summer, I've been jonesing for all things coconut and this recipe caught my eye. Quinoa was an unexpected, but tasty, pairing. I liked the multiple layers of coconut flavor from the milk, the shredded coconut, and the crunchy toasted topping. The quinoa gave it an interesting texture -- more substantial than tapioca. After baking, the quinoa had soaked up all the available liquid and the result was more dense than fluffy, so I added an extra splash of coconut milk to each serving. The recipe was easy to follow, and I loved trying something new! —tanager
about 6 servings
For the quinoa and topping
rinsed and drained quinoa
coconut milk (I used Silk original from the dairy case)
In a medium saucepan combine the quinoa and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then cover and lower the heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed into the grain. Set aside.
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and place in a 350° F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut starts to slightly brown. Place in a small bowl and stir in the cinnamon. Set that bowl aside.
Putting it all together
Whisk the semolina, cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar and the pinch of salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, begin slowly heating the coconut milk to boiling. While watching the milk, beat the eggs with an electric mixer, add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue beating until thick and a little fluffy.
Once the milk comes up to a boil, whisk in the semolina mixture and continue stirring until the mixture thickens and just starts to boil again. Take off the heat and let rest for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the egg mixture, cooked quinoa, orange zest, orange juice, coconut, and vanilla. Pour into a greased 8 x 11-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° F for 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve warm in small dessert dishes topped with a teaspoon or two of the cinnamon-coconut topping.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!