Entries from May 2009 ↓

Too good not to post: Asparagus and Israeli Couscous

So this may be breaking a bit from the philosophy of this blog (no real recipes followed to the letter) but since I made some additions/substitutions I feel like I can sneak it in. Plus as the title indicates, this is just too easy, fast and delicious not to share.

The original recipe (8 Minute Asparagus Couscous Soup – Quick and Easy) is on Recipezaar, which is really a great resource if you haven’t checked it out yet. Its so simple I hope they don’t mind me paraphrasing it here.

1 cup israeli couscous
1 bunch asparagus
3 cups broth – I used 1 Tbsp Better than Boullion Chicken & 2.5 c h20
parmesan cheese – I didn’t have any so I used a TBsp of leftover Parsley Pesto

Start the broth boiling and snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Chop into bite size pieces. When the broth boils add couscous and cook 5 min, then add asparagus and boil for 3 minutes more. That’s it. I added the parsley pesto at this point and ladled into bowls. It smelled so good I burned my tongue because I couldn’t wait for it to cool down to taste it. I did end up adding a dash of fresh ground pepper as well but really the asparagus and couscous didn’t need much help and worked perfectly together in this simple dish.

I really wish I had taken a photo because it is truly beautiful with a gorgeous green hue. I was really pleased that the flavor of the fresh asparagus came through and the texture was perfect. This is the first time we have used Israeli Couscous (we bought a couple cups on a whim from the bulk foods aisle) and I have to say we are now big fans and will be using it a lot more. Its more like orzo than traditional couscous with a bit of pearl tapioca mouth feel. I plan to try this approach with other veggies and maybe even some meats. If you experiment with the recipe please let me know in the comments.

Semi-Homemade Egg Rolls

eggrollsThanks to co-author Alan, I found this great foodie blog called Full Bellies, Happy Kids which is now in the links to the right. This recipe I saw there inspired me to the point of actually buying some ingredients in advance that I wouldn’t normally have on hand. However, being us, we made a bunch of substitutions and in this case completely made up our own dipping sauces. Check out the original recipe for more instructions and ideas.

Had to buy:

  • 1 bag tri-color coleslaw mix
  • Egg roll wrappers

Had on hand:

  • a small Baby Bok Choi
  • 4 Green Garlic bulbs (like giant green onions)
  • 1/2 lb pre cooked frozen shrimp (TJ’s of course)
  • a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • canola oil
  • soy sauce
  • Sriracha (rooster hot sauce)
  • salt and pepper

First I thawed the shrimp and let them drain for a while. I combined 1/2 of the package of coleslaw with the finely chopped bok choi, garlic bulbs and added finely minced ginger. I also started the oven pre-heating to 400 degrees- which for my small egg rolls now seems a bit too high.

I stir-fried the veggies in olive oil and added the finely chopped shrimp at the end with a good strong dash of soy sauce, a small bit of the sriracha, and salt and pepper. This yielded a pretty wet mix, probably due to not draining and drying the shrimp enough, so we put it in a strainer over a bowl to get the good stuff high and dry.

On an oiled nonstick baking sheet we assembled the egg rolls following the folding directions on the package and also found in the recipe link above. After brushing the tops of our cute little rollups with some additional oil we popped them in the oven and set the timer for 18 minutes since we know our oven runs a bit hot.

Its a good thing I checked them early because they were done – more than done really about 4 minutes early. I was pretty sparing with the filling and next time – and there WILL be a next time – I will really load them up. These were so easy and so good that I am really wishing I had made more filling.

For our dipping sauces I decided to play around a bit and came up with the following quick and dirty and delicious condiments.

Mustard Teriyaki
This is simple but very tasty – I just mixed equal parts Dijon Mustard and Sesame Teriyaki Sauce (TJ’s again). This was just right with the egg rolls, spicy but not too hot for my husband.

Heather’s Generic Dipping Sauce
Equal parts Soy Sauce and Rice Wine Vinegar mixed together with a few drops of chile oil, a pinch of minced ginger, a pinch of minced garlic and this time a pinch of fresh ground horseradish. We usually make something similar to dip almost any Asian food into.

I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did.