Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sensuous Home

As luck would have it, I married a pretty talented guy. He not only puts out all sorts of fires each day at work, but he's pretty handy at home too!

This semester will find me at the university until 9 each night, which means starting dinner when I get home at 10 is not an option. Unless...

You have yourself a miracle husband.

In this case I have found one, and no ladies, he is not for sale. You might hear me gripe about him on occasion, but that is truly a result of his unfortunate membership to the genus of male. Again, not relevant here.

The irony of this story being the phone conversations we share while I either prepare to teach or begin my journey home which usually include the playful "sensuous home, why don't you see what we have in the fridge that could turn into an edible dish." So there you have it. My titles are usually relevant, if not overtly so!

The highlight of this meal was his creative interpretation of one of my all time favorite side dishes. Well, there are two here, but I'm focusing on the israeli couscous because I'm sure you've had it up to here (too bad you can't see me gesture to the sadly short top of my small 5'3' frame) with zucchini and eggplant.

If you have never experienced this savory side dish, do yourself a favor and run to your local food mart of choice and demand that they begin carrying it. Niceties aside, this stuff is quite spectacular! Although I do endorse kindness to strangers. Again, another post.

Israeli couscous is simply larger sized couscous. But the addition of size gives way to richer, more pasta-ish consistency, and man does it pick up flavor. We treat it like orzo or arborio, cooking it in stock.

But the thing that makes these guys sensational is if you sautee some garlic and onions in olive oil and then add the israeli (sometimes called middle eastern) couscous to the mixture and toast them before adding liquid.

It literally seals the deal that you will find yourself with an incredible dish. I have tossed in shitake mushrooms, bits of pancetta, whatever is on hand.

So there you have it. Tip of the day: Run out and find yourself some israeli* (middle eastern, mediterranean, whatever!) couscous and try it tonight. And if you're really nice, share your results!

Happy eating :)

*if you care. the reason i so staunchly stand behind the title of israeli couscous is because this supposedly 're-branded' invention by israeli's originated from sephardic jews and frankly, i didn't feel like calling it sephardic jew or heeb-couscous.


Gary said...

I would just like to say that it is a pleasure to cook and receive high praise from such an established chef as yourself!

Gary said...

Oops. Me speak no speak English...
make that "accomplished" chef. :)
Either way, i love you!

amandajean said...

I make a mean dish of rice pilaf nearly the same way. I am going to have to try to locate some israeli couscous and give this a try. my husband doesn't care for the texture of the little couscous. I, on the other hand, could eat the whole bowl. mmm.

hurray for Gary, who starts dinner for you. that is very sweet. :)