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Peruvian Quinoa Stew with Queso Fresco
The Peruvian quinoa stew called quinua atamalada is thick and hearty and typically seasoned with aji amarillo, a yellow-orange chili widely used in Peruvian cuisine. For our version, we approximated aji amarillo’s flavor by using a yellow bell pepper plus a habanero. The habanero provides only subtle heat because the pod is merely cut in half, not minced, but if you wish to minimize spiciness, remove the seeds from the chili halves. Queso fresco is a salty, milky Mexican cheese with a firm, slightly crumbly texture; its savoriness contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the vegetables and lends the stew a delicious richness. If you like, garnish with finely chopped onion tossed with fresh lime juice.
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
medium yellow onion, finely chopped
01On a 6-quart Instant Pot select More/High Sauté. Heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, 1½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture evaporates and onion is softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, chili, paprika, cumin and oregano, then cook, stirring often, until the spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and 2 cups water, scraping up any browned bits; distribute the mixture in an even layer.
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