Isreal Couscous with Peppers

I like serving couscous in the summer, you don’t really have to cook it, you can make it a day ahead and you can serve at room temperature. So here is how I did it this time.

I took a red onion, red, green and yellow pepper and diced them pretty small and sautéed them in some good olive oil with some salt & pepper and chopped fresh garlic. Put that in a mixing bowl to cool while I cooked the couscous.

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I like the Israeli couscous because it is bigger than the regular one. I used two boxes this time, cooked with chicken stock instead of water for extra flavor. Cook per the instructions on the box, just be careful not to over-cook it because it will turn to mush and you really don’t want that.

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Take the freshly cooked couscous and combine it with the onion and pepper mixture. Here you might have to add a little olive oil and check your salt & pepper seasoning.

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Let it cool and then cover it and store it in the fridge.

Enjoy ~

Enhance Boxed Stuffing

My in-laws were coming over for dinner last weekend and my father in-law mentioned a while ago that he likes stuffing. I saw that I had a box of dried bread chunks buried in the cupboard, for hurricane season, and I figured why not, even though it really doesn’t go with BBQ chicken I was making. So here is how I did it.

As you can see that is a whole stick of butter along with two tablespoons of salt and pepper, a white onion diced, five stalks of celery diced and a few carrots diced up also. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften.

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Add two cups of chicken stock to the pan along with two tablespoons of Bell’s seasoning. Now take the mixture and pour it over the bread chunks, mix gently and you will notice it will be a little wet, this is fine because we are going to cook it tomorrow afternoon.

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Let it cool on the counter top for about an hour, cover it with foil and put it in the fridge for later. When it comes time to cook it, place it in a 300F oven for about forty minutes to an hour or until it reaches 145F in the center of the pan.

You will have moist fluffy delicious stuffing to accompany your meal.

Enjoy ~

Spicy Shrimp and Polenta

My wife and I were discussing how much she likes grits for breakfast and I asked her if she ever has had polenta.  She said no, so I suggested that I make her some for dinner.  Dinner? As she looked at me funny, I said I bet you will like it, it would be my take on Southern shrimp and grits.  So this is what I did.

Start out with good polenta.  Make it to the directions on the package substituting one cup of water for one cup of heavy cream, add one stick of butter. Stir together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

polenta

cooking polenta

Pour off about half of the mixture into a buttered shallow pan if you have one. We are going to save that for another day. We will use this over the weekend for breakfast. Let it cool completely then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Back to dinner now.

polenta in a pan

Take the shrimp you are having for dinner and marinate them in some olive oil, and whatever spices you like to make them spicy say some crushed red peppers, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.

seasoned shrimp

With the rest of the polenta in the pot add about 2 cups of cheddar cheese and mix in until its smooth, if necessary loosen the mixture a little with some more heavy cream. You are looking for a consistency of very thick applesauce. Put the bowl off to the side over very low heat and cook the shrimp.

cooked shrimp

Heat a non stick pan to medium high, add the shrimp, and cook a few minutes a side just until done. Scoop some of the hot cheesy polenta into a bowl and top with the spicy shrimp. Serve with a nice cool glass of your favorite white wine. As for my wife she now likes polenta just as much as grits.

plated shrimp

Enjoy