Saturday, October 6, 2012

Israeli Couscous with Olives and Mint and a drizzle of Creamy Balsamic Glaze

Recipe Courtesy of Celeste Podojil

3-4 cups cooked Israeli Couscous (cooked and cooled)
1 can mini corn on the cob, diced into ¼ inch (found in Asian isle)
½  cup each sliced black, green and Kalamata olives (all drained well)
4-6 scallions (sliced on a bias)
3 cups, cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
1-2 cups crumbled feta, Gorgonzola or blue cheese
Handful each of fresh herbs, chopped or torn;  flat leaf parsley, basil, mint
2 teaspoons (or more) kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup (give or take) of extra virgin olive oil

Cook and cool Israeli Couscous (after cooking, I put couscous in huge bowl and toss with about ½ cup olive oil to help prevent sticking while it cools).
After about 30 minutes in fridge toss all the above ingredients with couscous and add another ½ cup olive oil. 

Toss together with salt and pepper…taste and add additional olive oil, salt or pepper to taste.   You can mix and match herbs, omit or substitute based on what you have on hard.  Sage, oregano and thyme would work well here also.

OPTION 2:  For an even more spectacular dish mix the finished product with a creamy balsamic glaze.  You can drizzle it over the top or mix in the salad or both.

Balsamic glaze:
In a small saucepan simmer over med head, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup balsamic vinegar.  It will take around 20 minutes to thicken and become very sweet.  Glaze will coat the back of a spoon when done.  Once finished, whisk in ½ cup heavy cream.

This glaze is fabulous on grilled NY strip, over asparagus and with this Israeli Couscous.  It will also keep in the fridge.

Note:  Israeli Couscous is also called pearl couscous. 
You can purchase it at Trader Joes, most grocery stores and Costco.

Click here for a printer friendly version

Monday, October 1, 2012

                       Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

This might be my favorite recipe ever!!!  My girls love these as muffins, bread or in mini loaf pans to give away as gifts.  It is perfect in the morning, as an after school snack or as a treat instead of dessert.  And....I use whole wheat flour in this recipe so you can feel just fine about adding in the mini chocolate chips!

4 eggs
1 cup oil (or use drained apple sauce)
2/3 cup water
1 can pumpkin
3 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg (I use fresh, grate one half whole nutmeg)
1/2 bag of small chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease two loaf pans with butter or spray
Sift dry ingredients together and place in large mixing bowl
Beat eggs, oil, water and pumpkin together
Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients to center of well.  Mix just until incorporated, do not over mix.  Add chocolate chips.
Pour into 2 greased (non-stick spray) loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Options:  Make mini muffins, bake for 15-18 minutes.  Can also make 5 mini loafs, bake for 30-40 minutes.  These are great teacher gifts!

All cool kids blog these days!  

I love reading food blogs, I love taking pictures, I'm lucky enough to host a cooking goes my attempt to combine them all!  I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone to photograph my food and dive head first into blogging things I like to cook and eat!  I hope you follow, print, cook, eat, and enjoy my new venture!

Comments and suggestions welcome, new fun recipes wanted!


Celeste Cooks