Watch the fuck out Rachael Ray, here comes Iron Chef David Lynch! One of the stranger extras on the upcoming two-disc DVD edition of Inland Empire is an ominously scored, black-and-white feature with the director cooking up a batch of quinoa (he calls it “keen-wa,” but I say “kee-noh-uh”—though both are acceptable pronunciations), a high-protein goosefoot plant native to the Andes that isn’t very popular outside Latin kitchens. The director, who doesn’t appear to own a pair of oven mitts (hence the necessity to use a folded paper towel to grab onto the handle of his copper-lined pot, which he refers to as a pan), absurdly drags out the cooking of this rather rudimentary dish, at times focusing less on the actual ingredients (and how much to use) than on the journey to and fro his stove, refrigerator, and sink. The anecdote he relates to the camera, about a surreal encounter he had some 40 years ago with two different vendors in the former Yugoslavia, will blow your fucking mind, but if you’re interested in having a Lynchian dinner this evening and the director’s instructions to use “this much” of everything are impossible to wrap your head around, here is a less avant-garde guide with a few tweaks that will guarantee a 100% hippie-friendly eating experience.
½ cup organic quinoa
1 cube organic vegetable bouillon
10 organic broccoli florets
1 teaspoon uniodized sea salt
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon liquid amino acid
1. In a small pot, bring two cups of distilled or filtered water to a light boil.
2. Crumble up one organic vegetable bouillon cube and put aside.
3. Add ½ a cup of organic quinoa to the water, stirring in approximately one teaspoon of uniodized sea salt and making sure the ashes from your cigarette (or joint) don’t get into the pot. Reduce “nice hot flame” to a simmer and cover pot, allowing the quinoa to cook through for approximately eight minutes. (Quinoa is readily available in the Latin food aisle at your local supermarket, though you may have to go to some bourgeois-bohemian health food store to locate the organic variety.)
4. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and drink liberally.
5. Add about 10 organic broccoli florets and lightly stir, returning the lid to the pot.
6. In approximately nine minutes, when the water has almost completely evaporated, begin to mash together the quinoa and broccoli, incorporating the crumbled bouillon cube into the mix until it is no longer visible. (You could incorporate the cube into the water along with the broccoli in the previous step but the taste of the dish will be less intense.)
7. Pour mash into a small bowl and top with a few squirts of liquid amino acid (Lynch advises that it tastes just like soy sauce) and organic evoo.
8. Enjoy with your wine and follow up with a cup of one of Lynch’s Signature Cup gourmet coffees.
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.