Crema de Quinoa de Zuleta
This quinoa chowder with sweet corn is creamy and comforting.
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
- 1 Tbsp achiote paste
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa (any color)
- Kernels cut from 2 ears fresh white sweet corn or 1 cup thawed and drained frozen white corn kernels
- 5 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh chives or cut into 1 1/2-inch strips
- 1/4 lb smoked bacon, cut into strips, cooked until crisp, and drained
- Sliced avocado, for serving
- Ají Costeño, for serving
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the vegetable oil to 375°F in a Dutch oven over medium heat, using a candy or deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Fry the potatoes in batches, turning in the oil until golden brown and very crispy on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried potatoes to the baking sheet to drain and cool. Season to taste with salt.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the achiote paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook, stirring often, until the grain is lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and cream and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer the chowder uncovered until the quinoa is very tender and the liquid is reduced by one-quarter, about 45 minutes.
To serve, fold in the parsley, chives, bacon, and fried potatoes. Season to taste with salt. Garnish with avocado and serve ají on the side.
Spanning cultures and continents, Chef Jose Garces takes a look back at the many food traditions that have shaped his life. Beginning in Ecuador, ancestral home to his family and the foods nearest to his heart, Garces celebrates the traditional recipes of his childhood. He makes his way through Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru—cuisines he has come to know, love, and master.Buy it now
Other Main Courses
In Trinidad, the offspring of Africans and Hindus are called "Dougla." The electrifying ballet Dougla—performed by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and for which Geoffrey Holder choreographed, costume-designed, and created the music—inspired this meal.
This makes an easy weeknight dinner, but is special enough for casual company fare. Add some roasted rosemary potatoes and grilled garlic bread to complete the meal. Arugula tastes great here, but any local mix of salad greens works equally well. For cheese lovers, top with a little crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese.