Vegetable Pearl Couscous

On April 27, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is a dish that can be used to clear out your vegetable drawer.  Any vegetable will do fine in this and it is a great way to use some of the vegetables you just didn’t get to or that you found at the Farmers’ Market but didn’t have  a specific plan for.  Here I used a few items I still had left after making a few other dishes during the week.

I also find that pearl couscous has a great texture and better flavor than traditional durum wheat couscous. Pearl Couscous is also known as Israel Couscous. It has a soft, almost spongy feel. What I like most about it is it’s versatility too. It can be used for soups or eaten with just some fried onions and tomatoes as an excellent side dish.

The recipe here is a variation on one I found on the VegKitchen blog.  You can see the original recipe here: Seven-Vegetable Couscous.

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Vegetable Pearl Couscous
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups pearl couscous cooked using package’s directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 red onion, thick chop
1/2 red cabbage, thick chop
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 zucchini, diced bite-sized
1 medium turnip, diced bite-sized
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup golden raisins

Cook the couscous according to the product packaging’s directions. I used Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Couscous but there are other options too.

For the vegetables, heat a saute pan on medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the onions and turmeric. Saute for a couple minutes until onions soften.  Add the turnip, broccoli, and zucchini and the rest of the spices.  Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the turnip is firm but a fork can puncture it easily.  Finally add the cabbage, chickpeas, and raisins and cook for another couple minutes. If you need more olive oil feel free to add a tablespoon to coat everything.

Plate the couscous first and add some vegetables on top. Drizzle some olive oil to finish. Enjoy.

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It’s a great evening of after work cooking when I make a quick and easy vegan dish like this one and it turns out tasting far better than imagined.  I had found some great looking mustard greens at the Ojai Farmer’s Market last Sunday and didn’t know what I was going to use them for.  After a quick search on Pinterest, I found this amazing recipe using the Farro grain. The nuttiness of the Farro grain, the flavors of roasted onions and pinenuts along with some currants ended up making a flavorful dish that was greater than its parts.

If you are looking for something that takes only 20 minutes from start to finish, this salad will satisfy on many levels.

Full Recipe: [Farro Salad with Toasted Pinenuts, Currants and Mustard Greens]

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Pork Tenderloin with Calvados Cream Sauce

On September 23, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This week’s #SundaySupper is all about apples as we celebrate the beginning of Fall with an Autumn Apple Party. Immersing ourselves into the apple theme we decided to spend Saturday at a couple apple orchards near San Bernadino about a hour and 20 minutes east of Pasadena.  Our first stop was Snow-Line Orchard where the boys watched donuts being made and tried about 15 different types of apples at the sampling table.

We stopped there to do u-pick raspberries since they didn’t do u-pick apples.  Sadly, by 1pm they had ran out of raspberries to pick so we enjoyed some donuts and drove down the road to Riley’s Los Rios Ranch. Riley’s was a lot of fun. The boys loved roaming around the rows of apple trees finding all kinds of varieties to pick.  We mostly ended up with some beautiful red delicious and granny smiths.

We brought home 5 pounds of apples, a pint of apple cider, and homemade caramel dip. Yes it’s a good weekend.

After a fun afternoon of apple picking, it was time to start cooking. I stopped by a store for some Calvados (Apple Brandy) and picked up an organic pork tenderloin at the market. I had some collard greens, sweet potato, and bunch of freshly picked apples to begin the night’s feast.

I paired this dish with a couple sides.  The first was some sauted collard greens.  Just chop some greens and slice half of an onion into thin half-moon.  Add some olive oil to a saute pan cooking the onions for a couple minutes then adding the greens and cooking them down for about 5-8 minutes. Toss a few times during cooking to mix the onions and greens together. You’re done.

For the second side, I chopped up two sweet potatoes and one apple into small cubes.  Tossed them with a handful of raisins, olive oil and salt and pepper .  Bake this in an oven proof casserole dish at 450 degrees for 30 minutes while you make the main the course.

 

Pork Tenderloin with Calvados Cream Sauce
Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ “steaks”
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 shallot, finely diced
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in medium heat pan. Add the shallots and cook for two minutes.  While cooking pound the pork tenderloin “steaks” using a meat tenderizer, salt and pepper the pork and add to the pan.

Cook about 3 minutes on each side where the sides of the pork brown just a bit.  Don’t crowd the pan and set aside some of the tenderloin in a bowl.

With some pork tenderloins in the pan, add the apple brandy to the pan and if you feel daring ignite the brandy with a match after it heats in the pan for a second.  The flames will surge so be careful. Let it cook for a moment with the flames then carefully cover the pan to put out the flames. Cook the brandy on medium-high heat letting it reduce by half.

Once the brandy is reduced by half add the heavy cream and cut up apples.  Let this cook stirring together bring it to a boil then reduce the heat and let it cook for about 3 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

Serve the pork with the sauce and sides.


For more Sunday Supper Autumn Apple recipes checkout the following:

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

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