Monthly Archives: May 2012

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes

Katie:  I like making couscous, especially since it’s pretty easy to prepare.  It’s not very flavorful by itself, but it works well as a base with other ingredients.  While I’ve often had the finer variety of couscous, I’ve recently tried Israeli (or Pearl) couscous which is bigger, chewier, and a little more flavorful.  I was excited to try this recipe for Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen.  It pairs Israeli couscous with roasted grape tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs, and a dressing made with roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic.  I made this recipe as written, using fresh herbs from the garden.  It went well with fish, and was a good choice for a summer dish! 

Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad

Katie:  On the hottest and most humid days, the thought of standing in front of a hot stove isn’t always very appealing.  Salads are a good alternative, especially with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. So when I spotted this recipe for Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad on Closet Cooking, I quickly remembered the huge box of strawberries sitting in the refrigerator.  I knew it would be the perfect light meal for a sticky day.  I followed the recipe as written.  First, I mixed together the homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette and marinated the chicken for awhile, before grilling it on the Panini grill.  I also made the homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing with roasted strawberries.  The remaining ingredients included a mixture of greens, chopped pecans, bacon, (peppers), and goat cheese.  It was pretty simple to prepare, and I really enjoyed the flavors!

Grilled Panzanella

Here’s a recipe that I’ve wanted to try for a while.  It’s healthy, vegetarian and goes well with chicken or fish.  (We served it with barbecued salmon.)  You want to mix just before serving so you don’t end up with soggy bread.  If we have leftovers, I store the bread, vegetables and dressing separately.  We added olives but you can add any other vegetables you want: eggplant, summer squash, etc.

Pastel de Tres Leches

Matthew:  Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make a pastel de tres leches.  I’ve had it a couple times before at restaurants, most recently in Costa Rica, and really liked it.  I mean, anything with sweetened condensed milk has to be good, right?  The only unusual ingredient was masa harina, which is made from corn.  I was able to find it at the coop.  The recipe calls for fine ground cornmeal and all I had at home was coarse cornmeal.  There was more texture to the cake, but I was ok with that.  The cake turned out really well and I’m excited to serve some to my friends.  And, since you only use half of the three milks mixture, I might just have to make another one right away.