Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Made: September 27, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time to make: 25 to 35 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Cook garbanzo beans

This is a wonderful and elegant dish!  The ingredient list is very long and it takes some fancy footwork to put it together, but it is definitely worth the effort.  As is often the case with a skillet dish, most of the work takes place before you start heating the pan.  I soon found the simplest thing to do was to prepare several sub-sections of the recipe, put each in a container, then use each container as needed.  So by the time I began heating the oil this is what I had on my counter:

Beans: whether you cook your own or open a can, drain and set aside
Vegetables: put chopped and sliced onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms all in a bowl
Seasoning: a small bowl held the dillweed, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, mashed garlic and horseradish
Stock and white wine: mixed together in a large mug
Milk & egg beaten together
Tomato sauce: with dry milk, brown sugar, dry mustard and vinegar
Finally, in separate containers, measured amounts of water and couscous

Sweet & Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights
Oil for sautéing
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1-2 tsp. dillweed
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. parsley
1-2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 cups seasoned stock
½ to 1 cup white wine
2-3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup dry milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
¼ cup vinegar
5 cups cooked couscous

Heat oil in a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven.
Add onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots.  Sauté until onion is translucent.
Add dillweed, bay leaf, parsley, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper and ½ of the dry mustard.
Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is a good time to begin heating water in bottom of a double boiler.

After the vegetables and seasonings have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the seasoned stock and white wine. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Heat the milk egg mixture in the top of the double boiler.  As it cooks, add the dry milk, brown sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and the remaining half of the dry mustard, whisking in each addition. Continue stirring frequently as sauce thickens.

Bring measured water to a boil.
When hot, add couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.

Finally, add garbanzo beans to the simmering vegetables.
This bean-vegetable mix should have the consistency of a thick soup. If necessary, thicken with cornstarch.

To serve: place some couscous on each plate.
Top with bean-vegetable mixture.
Pour sauce over all.
Enjoy the compliments.

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Homemade Tofu Burgers

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 22, 2012
Yield: 8 servings
Time needed: 15-20 minutes

Made these as a contribution to a pot-luck dinner and they were much appreciated. This recipe makes 8 generous size tofu patties. For the pot-luck I made the patties much smaller.

Tofu comes in several forms from a soft, satiny texture to a solid extra-firm. This recipe doesn’t specify which to use. I used a firm tofu and found it worked well. However, a reference to keeping the “batter” in the fridge suggests a softer tofu may be intended—one that could be cooked up like pancakes.

Homemade Tofu Burgers

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Cold Zucchini and Buttermilk Soup

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 8, 2017
Yield: 4 servings
Time needed: 5-10 minutes + time to chill

This is the recipe which taught me buttermilk is delicious in many ways other than an ingredient of pancake batter and converted me to cold soups which I used to think was an oxymoron.

Cold Zucchini and Buttermilk Soup

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Sweet & Pungent Vegetable Curry

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: April 2, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Soak and cook beans

This is a thick, sweet curry sauce to serve over rice, bulgur or whatever you please.  I chose to use adzuki beans today.

Soybeans or lima beans would have made a better picture and also allowed the curry flavour to stand out more.  But it is a very good dish whatever the colour of the beans.

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Middle East Tacos

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 16, 2015
Yield: 10 tacos
Time needed: 45 minutes including 30 minutes resting time

The filling here is essentially a homemade hummus and once that has sat long enough for the flavours to blend, the meal is a cinch to put together. In fact, it’s a perfect occasion for letting folks make their own at the table. I used taco shells, but you can also use pita breads cut in half to hold the filling, or simply spread on crackers and serve beside the salad fixings.

Middle East Tacos

Middle East Tacos

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Joan’s Brazilian Rice

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 26, 2014
Yield: 6-servings
Time needed: 50 minutes

A delightful easy-to-make rice pilaf suitable for a family supper. I had only red pepper so the colour contrast green chilies would make with the tomato does not show up in this picture, but I will certainly make this dish again soon and remedy that.  Toasting the rice and sesame seeds before adding the liquid contributes to a nutty taste.  The recipe is attributed to Joan Francis of Wisconsin.

Joan's Brazilian rice

Joan’s Brazilian rice

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