Monday, November 12, 2007

Sweet Sides

We've become quite fond of the lamb sausage at Whole Foods. It's an inexpensive, quick protein for a weeknight dinner. Inspired by the middle eastern spiceway of the sausage, I came up with the following sides.

Fancy Weeknight Couscous

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
pinch saffron
pinch cloves
pinch coriander
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Saute the vegetables in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the spices and stir over the heat for a minute to release the essential oils. Add the couscous, raisins, and the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the couscous is tender. Toss with the pecans and serve.

Carrots and Leeks

An inexpensive side dish using winter vegetables that's just yummy.

Slice a couple of leeks in half and wash them carefully. Chop the leeks into 1/2 inch pieces. Saute in a little olive oil in a large pan until they begin to wilt. Meanwhile, peel 3-4 large carrots and chop them into 1/2 inch coins. Add the carrots to the pan. Add a little water or chicken stock (1/2 cup or so) and bring to a boil. Cook down until most of the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender. If you have some fresh thyme, toss a few leaves in. Salt and pepper to taste. Just at the finish, add a couple tablespoons of butter and stir in until it has melted.

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