One ingredient, two dishes, one sweet and one savoury. My ingredient? Quinoa. Yep, quinoa. I can picture Pauly now, sitting there in his spa bath after drinking three too many ciders, a trained monkey offering him a Cuban cigar as he types this damning word on his Hunter S. Thompson-esque typewriter… Q U I N O A.

OK. On with it.

So Pauly has brought this challenge to the culinary thunder dome. (I’ve always thought that would be a good name for a gay nightclub. The thunder dome – two man enter. One man leaves). Anyhow, Two man enter one man leaves. I’ll be master he can be blaster. Beautiful.

Bang a gong; let’s get it on.

Quinoa (you know that it’s pronounced keen-wah eh), most ancient and noble of grains. Consumed by the ancient Incas, and by their new age counterparts… The hippy. Since I am neither ancient Inca nor hippy, I shall rely on nothing but my women’s intuition to get me through this one.

A cake or sweet bread is the obvious and easy option, and I like to avoid the easy option if possible (purely through stubbornness – we had a run in in late ’84 and I haven’t felt the same way since). So it has to be the panna cotta, or the crumble, or the quinoa meringue mess…

It shall be… (Drum roll please. I always like to imagine the drummer from Def Leopard doing my drumrolls. I just think that would be maximum impact) the apple with quinoa crumble. Since I can’t appeal to the ancient Incas I will try to appeal to our living ancients (every grandma loves a crumble), the hippies and the common man alike. And, if you want to get really crazy, you can serve this with quinoa and maple syrup ice cream.

For the icecream                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I’m going to assume you know how to make icecream. Now I know I might be giving you a whole heap too much credit here, but look at it like your big break. Do me proud. You can call me dad or pappy if that makes you feel better about it… So make your icecream like you normally would except don’t do it like that. Before you do anything with your milk you need to infuse that bad boy. Warm 2lt milk, add 2 cups quinoa and take it off the heat to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain it and that is the milk you shall use to make your icecream. Sound crazy? Well it is! And just before it has set in the freezer, stir through a good splash of REAL maple syrup.

1. top it

2. cook it

3. demolish it

For the crumble mix
300g raw sugar
300g quinoa, cooked for 5 minutes so it is half way there
200g almond meal
100g P flour
100g rolled oats
350g softened US butter
• Mix everything together with the fingers on the end of your hands
• Pile it onto some sautéed apple with a splash of brandy and bake at 170C for 15-20 minutes until its bubbling around the sides and it’s brown and crusty like your undies
• Eat it, no, devour it, with some kind of icecream

Quinoa, lentil and roast vegetable salad with fresh herbs and quark to pay homage to it’s hippy following, but for everyone try
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup cooked du puy lentils (don’t bother using a different type of lentil here)
2 cups roasted vegetables, try capsicum, zucchini, tomato, asparagus, eggplant, onion, etc
1/2 cup quark or goat curd or feta
1 cup fresh herbs, torn so they’re still chunky. Basil, parsley, chervil, mint, chives, rocket
A good splash of olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

  • Mix it together gently like you are a hippy
  • Season and dress with olive oil and lemon juice
  • Eat it in your face. Not so bad there was it…