The Saucy Scholar

Archive for the tag “grad school life”

Blueberry Bonanza

I finally finished my first qualifying exam last week! If you’ve noticed a dearth of posts, it’s partially because I was frantically typing away, and, if it weren’t for The Boyfriend making me coffee, tea, and TGIFridays Potato Skins every few hours, I probably would have forgotten to eat.

A trip out of the city was just what the Dr. ordered. We drove out to Mattituck, Long Island with some friends, and I had my very first berry-picking experience at Patty’s Berries and Bunches. It being late July, it was prime time for blueberries, and there were even some blackberries ripe for the picking. Of course, I couldn’t resist sampling a few of each as we went along. The blackberries were some of the sweetest I’ve had, and some of the blueberries were downright huge, not to mention juicy.

They were so good, in fact, that I picked extra so that I would have enough to make Blueberry Cobbler and Blueberry Muffins, neither of which I had attempted before, but how could you go wrong with fresh blueberries picked right from the bush?

Once we got home, I began an intense online recipe search, though I really should have looked no further than Mark Bittman’s book, How To Cook Everything. (By the way, if you are serious about learning to cook, you absolutely need this!) His recipes for both cobbler and muffins are classic and simple, and can be made with any and all kinds of fruit. Fortunately, he happened to post both of these recipes on his website, and so here they are for anyone who is interested in trying these out for themselves:

Blueberry Cobbler: 

I was especially pleased with the Blueberry Cobbler. The berries were tart and sweet, and went nicely with the buttery crust. (Jeff asked me what the “filling” was made of–ha! Just fresh fruit and some sugar, plain and simple.) A scoop of vanilla ice cream was the perfect finishing touch for this classic summer dessert. Definitely serve warm, or immediately after baking if possible.

Muffins, Infinite Ways (see his suggestion for Blueberry Muffins)

The muffins turned out well too, and, as you might predict, the fresh blueberries were the stars of that show too. These came out moist and a little hearty (probably on account of the substitution of cornmeal for some of the flour), making these muffins ideal for a light breakfast.

I still have some blueberries (and quite a few blackberries) left over, so I may try to make something else, but something tells me I might need to go back to Patty’s for a refill.

What’s your favorite blueberry treat? Feel free to sound off in the comments!

Happy summer, The Saucy Scholar

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News Update!

These are exciting times over here at The Saucy Scholar–it’s (almost) officially summer, The Boyfriend graduated (again), and I’ve finished/survived my first year as a doctoral student! Even though I’ve still got a qualifying exam coming up, you can expect to see even more updates and recipes for decadent desserts, refreshing summertime drinks, and light and satisfying meals. I’m also thinking of adding a few new weekly features, so stay tuned.

Also, this is actually old news, but 5 Napkin Burger featured my review of their Hell’s Kitchen location on their Facebook page back in January!  If you haven’t already, take a gander at my review and drop by any of their NYC/Boston/Miami locations. Now that I’m back in the neighborhood, I will almost certainly be paying them another visit.

That’s all for now,

The Saucy Scholar

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


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