Monday, April 13, 2009

chocolate-caramel crackers

Oh yeah.



Just freaking awesome.

I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (great cooking site, by the way).

I was hoping to find a chocolate dessert for Easter to contrast the walnut-pear cake that I love.

I was thinking cake or pie or tart. Instead I found this.

And it was just what I wanted.

Chocolate caramel crackers, co-opted from Smitten Kitchen

(I used the matzo version, not the saltines, with sea salt. Perfection.)

Apparently this is not a new recipe. But it was new for me, so I give credit where it was due.

I am not even going to post the recipe here, just my own picture and the link, above.

Go there. Make it. Get addicted.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

cool cous cous and edamame

This came to me in a moment of laziness.
I was ready to make dinner Monday night, but did not have the gumption to get myself to the market.
A quick tour of the pantry yielded a box of cous cous. In the freezer I found some precooked soybeans in the pods and a pork tenderloin.
Yeah, I can work with these.
I set the pork to thaw in a sink full of cool water then got to thinking about how to make it all work together.

My inspiration was two yummy salad options from the Corner Bakery. At my branch of this chain they have an option of getting a trio sampler of some of the salads. Two that I really like are the ginger and asparagus cous cous with dried cranberries and almonds, as well as a mixture of edamame with asparagus and tomatoes in a tangy Asian-inspired dressing.

Somehow toward the end of my meal they are commingling on the plate so that I get cous cous and edamame together. Which is fine. It tastes pretty good.

So I decided to take what I liked about those salads and combine them, being limited to what I had at home.

Here you have it:

Cool cous cous and edamame
(with toasted almonds)

3 cups cooked plain cous cous, cooled
(for me this was 1 1/3 cup dry cous cous cooked to package directions)

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted in a saute pan until golden brown

1 lb frozen edamame in the pods, cooked and shelled
(should yield about 1 1/4 cups beans)

3 tbsp minced shallot

combine all of the above, stirring or tossing gently to mix

for the dressing

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp ponzu sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp red chili paste, such as Sriracha

combine all of the dressing ingredients, stirring until sugar has dissolved

Pour dressing over cous cous mixture and gently stir or toss to coat.


If there had been a red pepper in the fridge, I would have diced some of that up and added it for a little more color and flavor. But this was pretty good as is.

I served this on a bed of chopped romaine lettuce.
To make it more of a dinner for the manfriend and me, I added some slices of grilled pork tenderloin.
Since the cous cous dressing had some tang and spice to it already, I kept the meat simple, just marinating it in a mixture of 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp sesame oil.
Then I grilled it.

This was awesome. I like a combination of cool and hot like this.
And the lettuce underneath gave it an extra layer of crunch.

I had leftover cous cous over more lettuce for lunch today. Still good.
And so, so, so easy to make.