Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cooking up trouble

You know how when you know you're going out of town soon, you kind of stop buying groceries a little too early and justify eating a burrito on campus for lunch and make grilled cheese for dinner every night? And then after you get back to town, you come home to a house with hardly any food, but you're pretty broke from vacation and conferencing and don't want to go to the store until you can really make a plan and a list and do it right? Just me?

So I've been putting together meals out of whatever I have lying around. Just when I think there aren't any ingredients left that go together, I come up with something pretty decent. Last night's dinner was better than decent, actually. Inspiration struck when I saw the tub of couscous in the back of my cupboard. Now that I'm back, I'm able to actually use the CSA share I'm splitting with Rick. Last week's bin included a couple of zucchini, which I love. Inspiration part two. Recipe below.

Desperation Couscous (10-15 minutes)

  • Heat cast iron skillet to medium heat and add some olive oil. Put kettle on to boil.
  • Throw 1 c. couscous in a bowl with about 1/3 c. slivered almonds.
  • To the now-hot skillet, add around 1 c. zucchini chunks and 1/2 a red onion, chopped. Add some course sea salt and some herbs de provence. Stir regularly to evenly carmelize the veggies. Add in some jarred roasted red pepper when you realize you have it.
  • When water boils, pour 1 c. into the bowl of couscous. Cover with an inverted plate and let sit until the veggies are cooked to your liking.
  • Chop up a few (I used three) slices of cooked bacon*. Take the veggies off the heat.
  • Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork. Throw the veggies in and mix. Add the bacon and mix again.
  • Serve and eat. There should be enough for lunch tomorrow.

surprise couscous

As I sit eating leftovers in my office today, I realize I should have thrown in some raisins or dried cranberries. If I'd had more patience, I would have sauteed some chicken and thrown it in, too. Normally I would have added some kind of cheese (most likely feta, chevre, or parmesan), but I didn't have anything but chedder.

*When I cook bacon, I always bake up the whole pound and then freeze what I don't need in little packets of 2-4 slices each. This way I buy the cheaper, larger package and only make my house smell like bacon a few times a year.

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