Wednesday, November 25, 2009


EDF = Eating Down the Fridge: a fun challenge where you commit to not going grocery shopping for a week and getting creative with what's already in your kitchen.

EDK = Eating Down the Kitchen: when you are three weeks away from an intercontinental move and frantically trying to consume every scrap of food in your possession, because US Customs says you can't bring it with you and you hate wasting food.

If you run out of something, you can't replace it. (Goodbye, beloved cinnamon! I'll see you on the other side.)

If you've got something lying around that you only use once in a while, you've got to figure out a way to use it up. (Anyone have suggestions for using up ¾ of a jar of cider vinegar?)

Here's one concoction I've already come up with. I expect others, increasingly bizarre, will follow.

Storecupboard shuffle couscous
The one box of couscous I had lying around was parmesan-flavored, so I went with an Italian-flavors theme. But I think this would probably work just as well with plain couscous.

Please note: all measurements are approximate.

~12 sundried tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Italian sausage
~4 zucchini
1 box couscous
1 glass white wine
salt & pepper
pecorino romano cheese, for topping

Heat up some water. Chop sundried tomatoes and throw into about a cup of hot water to soak while you do everything else. (If yours are packed in oil, you can probably skip this step.)

Heat a large skillet to medium and add oil. Remove sausage from its casing and crumble into hot pan. Brown sausage, stirring occasionally.

While the sausage is browning, quarter the zucchini and chop into chunks. (You can also do this step earlier if you want to salt the zucchini as I describe here.) Add the zucchini to the hot pan and cook, stirring every few minutes but also leaving alone so it can brown.

While the zucchini is cooking, boil some more water. Put the couscous in a pan or heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over couscous, cover, and leave to cook according to the package directions. (This usually takes about five minutes.)

When the zucchini has cooked to your satisfaction, throw in the white wine and stir around, scraping up any good stuff that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to low. Dump in the couscous and the softened tomatoes (and some of the soaking liquid if you think that would improve things; I did). Stir to combine everything thoroughly, then taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve, topped with grated cheese, hot, warm, or at room temperature. (Also good eaten cold out of the fridge.) Serves 4 with leftovers.

PS EDK also = the reason I'm not attempting to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year. But I'm still remembering to give thanks; see my list from last year, all still valid. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours if you're celebrating!


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