Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Food Friday

I guess it was actually fun food Thursday, but I like alliteration, what can I say? I took an impromptu rest day yesterday and decided to stretch my culinary muscles instead. I have produce delivered every week from Boston Organics, and the last couple of boxes have had an abundance of vidalia onions, carrots, and leafy greens.

While I had never cooked with kale before, I am quite the onion carmelizer, so I experimented with some herbs from my little herb garden, some of the veggies from the delivery, and my very favorite blend of carbs. It turned out to be really, really tasty!

Here's the recipe for pearl couscous with carmelized onion, kale and carrots:

2 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup Trader Joe's Harvest Blend (or you could use plain old Israeli/Pearl couscous)
3 carrots, grated
3-4 (or maybe 5) stalks of kale
4 garlic cloves
Coupla sprigs of thyme,
5-6 basil leaves
handful of oregano
1 large onion,
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

1. Slice onion into half-rings. Heat 2 or so tbsp of olive oil over med-high heat until ripply. Dump the onions into the oil and stir to coat all the onions in oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Lower heat to med-low. Stir occassionally until onions have changed color and most of the liquid is gone. Add a couple of splashes of liquid to the onions to carmelize more and deglaze the pan. This time I used wheat beer, but vinegar, wine, madeira, sherry, or port would also be good. At this point you should be stirring a lot. The onions are going to thicken up. This is good. Keep stirring. The total carmelization process takes about 25-30 minutes, onions in pan till deliciousness.

2. During the beginning of the onion process (when there is less hands-on stirring involved) I de-ribbed the kale, roughly chopped the garlic, shredded the carrots, and roughly chopped all the herbs (I used fresh cause I had them on hand, but dried would work in a pinch...har har).

3. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boil. When it comes to a boil put the kale leaves in it and poke them till they're submerged. Let them boil for about 5 minutes and then drain them. Run cold water over them in the strainer, squeeze them until most of the water is out and then chop them real good.

4. By now the onions should be basically done. Remove them from the heat and put them in a bowl. DO NOT WAS THIS PAN.

Here's most everything ready to go:

5. Using the unwashed, quite delicious onion pan, add the 2 cups of stock and bring to a boil. This is going to add even more of all those delicious onion flavors to your meal. When it comes to a boil add the Harvest Blend/couscous, garlic, herbs, and a bit more salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

6. Okay, after uncovering, you're going to add carrots

Simmer this for 2 or so minutes

7. After that add the kale and the onions. Stir it all together, and simmer until liquid is dissolved. Then turn off the heat and grate some Parmesan cheese over the top

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