You will need 6 cups of liquid to make this quinotto, which serves 2-3 people.
If you are more double the recipe.
If you want to make a quick flavorful veggie broth here is a recipe for leek broth. You can also use chicken broth or bean broth. If you have dried porcini mushrooms stashed somewhere, add two or three to your stock to amp up the mushroom flavor. It's not necessary, but I find a lot of people have dried mushrooms shoved in the back of their cupboard. That might be you! It's definitely me.
The most difficult part of this dish is getting the salt right. As the liquid reduces it can make the quinoa very salty. Usually, for most grains I would advice you to salt more aggressively upfront but not here. If you are using store-bought chicken broth go low-sodium. If you are making your own leek or bean broth use 1 teaspoon max of salt when making them, and adjust to taste at the end.
If you want to make this vegan or dairy-free sub the cream for cashew crema. You will have to make a little more crema than the recipe calls for so that your blender has enough cashews to blend. Soak 1/2 cup of raw cashews in water for a few hours, then drain and blend with 1/4 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until everything is super smooth. This takes slightly more blending than you think. Keep going until you have a very smooth cream, but take pauses while you blend if you think you'll think you'll overheat your blender.
8 ounces mushrooms
1 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or white wine
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1/2 small onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 cups of broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
chopped parsley, optional
Clean and quarter the mushrooms if they are on the larger side, but if they are small cut them in half.
Thinly slice the clove of garlic.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil until it starts to shimmer. Add somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of the mushrooms. Your pan will tell you just how much. The idea is not to crowd them. Sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and let them sear. Lower the heat to medium and add half the garlic. Sauté for about 6 minutes, until they start to get some color and the moisture they relate evaporates. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar or a little white wine. Sauté 1 more minute and remove from heat. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and repeat the process with the remaining mushrooms. Set aside.
Dice half the onion. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized dutch oven or saucepan, and sauté the onion until translucent and soft. In a separate medium saucepan bring the broth to a simmer.
Once the onions are soft add the quinoa. I never rinse mine before I cook it, as I find it messy and annoying, and have never had a problem. That said, rinse it if you feel it's important. Add two cups of broth and cook the quinoa over medium heat stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Once the broth is almost completely absorbed add one cup of broth. Stir scraping the bottom until the broth is almost absorbed. Add one more cup of broth, and repeat the stirring, adding the broth bit by bit as it evaporates. You want the quinoa to be somewhere between al dente and completely tender. If you feel it needs a bit more liquid to get there, add a 1/2cup of water and keep stirring. Once the desired consistency has been reached, add the 1/4 cup of cream or cashew crema. Stir and cook for 1 more minute. Taste and adjust the salt.
Serve in bowls topped with the mushrooms and sprinkled with parsley, if using.