Every few years a “new” vegetable comes along that fascinates the eating public.

Kale had its moment in the sun, arugula lingered around on the main stage til it was finally taken out back and dispatched with a single shot to the head, and now amaranth has muscled into the spotlight. It’s been grown and harvested for a millenia in the Caribbean and parts of Mexico, and now it’s entering into the culinary conversation in USA.

We can’t get enough. While it’s good in a quick sautee with a little salt and lemon juice, it takes on a much heartier characteristic when baked into a casserole with cheese and Hatch chiles.

As is our custom when we’ve overbought on a certain ingredient (30lbs of Hatch chile,a washing machine-sized box of amaranth) we hit the test kitchen to deplete our reserves. The results…

Ingredients:

8 each bacon, slices, chopped

2 each shallots, chopped

8 each, chiles, Hatch, roasted, chopped

4 bunches amaranth, blanched, chopped

2 c. cream, heavy, whipping

1/2 c. queso Salvadorena (available at all Hispanic grocery stores)

pepper

Method

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees

* Grease a Dutch oven-style pan

* Fry bacon, add shallots and chiles

* Cook 5 minutes

* Add amaranth, cream and cheese

* Stir til cream begins to bubble

* Place in oven, bake for 30 minutes

initially we had no intention of publishing this formula, this was just a quick, throw some stuff in a pan, and get supper on the table meal, but it turned out so good it would be culinary malpractice to not share.

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