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.


Anonymous said...

That looks super tasty! I can't wait to try it! Is there a way to shut the ad bubble off or am I being blog-tarded?

You are really good at this!

thorn said...

Thanks! Enh, I have ads enabled for my blip stream just to see if I can collect anything from clicks. The version over at vimeo is exactly the same, other than a lack of ads.

In case you're curious, I've accrued a whopping $1.14 since I started the show. Of course, they don't pay out until you earn at least $20.

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Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

thorn said...

Thanks, anonymous! Rest assured, I'll be getting going again pretty soon here now that I once again have a working camera. Right now I'm struggling to get rid of a nasty cold I picked up on a road trip with the family. Hopefully I'll have it conquered enough to cook by some time next week. For now, it's canned goods that won't carry my germs from one day to the next.