Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mystery Ingredient Reveal 5

This one comes with a secondary challenge from transiit over at mmmm......donut. Yes, I really do eat what I make for a week. Sure, I like to try keeping some quick fixin's on hand (usually sandwich stuff) for those days when I'm tired of whatever it is I made and really just want something different, but for the most part I do practice what I preach.

Once I've made this meal, I will not purchase any food for a full week. And will photodocument each meal. You know, for fun... or something.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eat For A Week, Episode 12: Saffron Cous Cous Salad

I'll admit I was at rather unsure what to do when I unwrapped the saffron, having never cooked with it before. After doing some research on the intartoobs, here's what I found:

1 - If it's not expensive, it's probably not really saffron.
2 - Store it in a cool, dark place and it will last for years.
3 - Just use a small pinch. Too much, and your food can take on a medicinal flavor.
4 - Crush the threads and let them steep in some sort of liquid for 5-20 minutes to allow flavor to develop before using.

That said, I decided to make a saffron cous cous salad. My bill for this was about $11 for meat, frozen peas & carrots, a can of corn, an onion and some garlic. However be prepared to spend quite a bit more if you don't happen to have any saffron on hand. I'm normally not one to look up the cost of gifts because, well, that's just tacky. But I chose to this time, given the nature of my show and knowing that saffron is rather costly. At my local store, 0.06 ounces will run you about $23. Fortunately, that 0.06 oz. will go a very long way.


1 large onion, finely chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lb frozen peas & carrots, thawed *
1 can corn, drained
1 lb ground beef
2 1/2 C cous cous **
4 tbsp butter
saffron (just a pinch)
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


sauce pan
large bowl


Heat 1-2 Tbsps olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. When translucent, add beef (salt/pepper to taste) and cook until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place dry cous cous into a large bowl.

In sauce pan, add 2 1/2 C water, 4 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and a pinch of saffron. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil. Pour over the cous cous, stir, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Add meat, corn, peas & carrots, and 2-3 Tbsp olive oil and stir. Voila!

Music for this episode was "Watching Snails" by The Hybiscus Journals. Be sure to check out their new website at

* Just run them under lukewarm water while the cous cous soaks.
** If you find bugs in your cous cous do not - I repeat, DO NOT dump it down the sink thinking the garbage disposal will take care of it. It won't. A room mate of mine learned that one the hard way.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mystery Ingredient Reveal 4

This could be challenging. Am I up for it? Yeah, i think I can make it work.