The Saucy Scholar

Archive for the category “main dishes”

Recipe: Chili, Lemon, and Basil Shrimp with Couscous

Well, that was an unexpected hiatus. I certainly underestimated how busy I would be this semester. My coursework has been lighter than usual, but I’ve been much more involved in my teaching than I was last semester, and I’m neck-deep in reading for my first field exam. Fortunately, summer is fast approaching, and it is now officially baseball season, so that in addition to the sunnier weather should hopefully get me down the home stretch.

This recipe is from The Kitchn, which is one of my favorite food blogs and what I would love The Saucy Scholar to be when it grows up. This dish is perfect for busy days like the ones I’ve been having, and is both filling and light enough to be an excellent summer supper for two. This has been in my personal rotation for some time now, and it’s been a success every time I’ve made it. The Kitchn’s version is here, but since my local supermarket doesn’t carry  Israeli Pearl Couscous, I’ve made it with Near East instant variety instead and had to make some slight changes, which you can find in my version below.

What You’ll Need:

The Couscous

  • 1 Box of Instant Couscous (I used Near East Original Plain Pearled Couscous)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Water
  • 1 Cup of Chicken Broth
The Shrimp
  • 1 Pound Cooked Shrimp, De-veined and tails Removed
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • About 1 cup of Fresh Basil
  • Salt and Pepper
What To Do:
  1. Prepare the couscous by combining it with 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Water, Chicken Broth, in a medium saucepan. (Don’t forget to set aside the zest for the shrimp!)
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once liquid is mostly absorbed, heat a drizzle of Olive Oil in a medium/large skillet. Sauté the Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes.
  4. Keep an eye on the  Couscous–once the liquid is absorbed, take off heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Once Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes are ready, pat the Shrimp dry and add them to the skillet, on high heat. Cook until heated through (about 3 minutes), turning often and coating the Shrimp with the Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in Basil and Lemon Zest.
  7. Serve immediately over Couscous, and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Happy Spring,
The Saucy Scholar

Recipe: Chili

Happy Super Saturday! I’m pretty excited about this year’s Super Bowl rematch between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. (full disclosure: I am technically a Jets fan but I have to represent the hometown team.) While football fans will agree to disagree on who to root for, most will attest that Chili is a time-honored and noble Super Bowl tradition, and with good reason. It’s fun, festive, and, most importantly, easy to eat in front of the TV.

This is my default Chili recipe, though I’m sure I’ll be toying around with variations of it for years to come. You’ll notice that it calls for a handful of “Secret Ingredient,” which is exactly what it is. A secret. So don’t ask me what it is. Besides, almost everyone who makes their own chili has one. (For those who are curious, you can omit the “Secret Ingredient” and stick to the recipe otherwise, and it will still come out quite tasty–I’ve tried so I know it’s true.) This Chili is perfect for a Super Bowl Party, or a cozy night in watching your favorite show. I may not cook tomorrow night, but I know I would definitely want some of this while watching the new episode of Downton Abbey, which will air right after the Super Bowl.  Anyway, without further adieu…

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef (or any ground meat of your choice)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Orange Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Handful Secret Ingredient (shh!)
  • Chili Seasoning
  • A few shakes of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Shredded Cheese to top
  • Corn Chips
What To Do:
  1. Brown the meat in a deep saucepan, and drain.
  2. Stir in a generous amount of Chili Seasoning and Red Pepper Flakes
  3. Add diced tomatoes, Kidnet Beans, Onion, Peppers, and Secret Ingredient, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour over high heat. (I recommend closer to an hour.)
  5. Give ingredients another good mix and add cinnamon.
  6. Serve in bowls and top with Shredded Cheese. You can crush up some corn chips and sprinkle them in as well, or you can just serve them on the side.
Go Giants!,
The Saucy Scholar

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