Monday, March 1, 2010

Shrimp Couscous with Grilled Eggplant and Peppers

New York City is one of my favorite places to visit and while I am there, I want to experience everything that this amazing city has to offer. I have often described the feeling of being there like standing in the middle of the world. 

I have taken up a special fondness for food blogs that focus on the food and culture of New York City. One such blog is Nora's Amateur Foodie Adventures www.amateurfoodieadventures.com who writes about her food adventures in New York City. I asked Nora if she would be interested in doing a guest post about a food experience or a favorite recipe. She graciously agreed. Without further delay, say hello to Nora the host of Amateur Foodie Adventures. As always, stop by her blog and say hello. You don't have to live in New York City to enjoy her blog posts. 

Velva is a faithful reader and commenter on my blog. I was thrilled when she asked me to be a guest blogger despite the fact my website isn't a recipe-based food blog like hers. On my site, I cover food events in New York City, throwing in a few restaurant postings and an occasional recipe for some variety.

Here, I'm going to write about a recipe from a personal favorite website of mine called Food52.com  (www.Food52.com). This site is cool enough for a separate blog posting, but Ill simply say check it out when you have a moment.

The recipe is Shrimp Couscous with Grilled Eggplant and Peppers. I dig this recipe because A) it combines 3 of my favorite ingredients; shrimp, couscous, and sweet red peppers and B) it helped me overcome a recent and unexpected bout of subpar cooking ability that seemed to steal away my kitchen mojo.

Example 1: Potato souffle. I tried a gorgeous recipe from a food travel book I'm reading. Alas, my dreams of an airy, creamy souffle were foiled by me overcooking it. Yes, I lost track of time. Making matters worse, I substituted cinnamon for the nutmeg which I didn't have and added twice the amount by mistake. I know, I know. Potato and cinnamon--it doesn't conjure up the same delicious grandeur as chocolate and peanut butter.

Example 2: Spaghetti Carbonara. An easy recipe for sure, but I managed to mess it up because I never made it before and I was trying to entertain my dinner guest and cook at the same time. That's a bad combination for me!

Example 3: Pakistani Goat Stew. Inspired by the cut up organic goat meat I snagged at the Union Square  Greenmarket, I found a recipe onlie and had every spice in my cupboard. Except garam masala, which you can't find anywhere in my Polish neigborhood. After nuturing the curry, the flavor turned out just-meh. My culinary self-esteem hit an all time low as I ate the goat stew which tasted like regular old beef stew with a mild curry sauce. Where was the adventurous, exotic, complex flavored stew I planned for?

Much like Austin Powers, I finally was able to get my mojo back. Yeah Baby! How you might ask? I simply returned to the basics. Simple food and good ingredients I've worked with countless times. Of course, I probably could have avoided this whole saga by using more of Velva's recipes ;)




Shrimp Couscous with Grilled Eggplant and Peppers
Serves 1- can easily be doubled.

Ingredients:
2 thick slices of eggplant
1/2 red bell pepper
4 large shrimp-peeled, cleaned
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup whole wheat couscous
3/4 cups seafood stock
1 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
Fresh black pepper
2 green onions-chopped

Directions:
1. Heat the grill to med-high. Brush the eggplant and pepper with tablespoon of olive oil, squeeze juice from half the lemon over them, and sprinkle with salt. Grill the eggplant until they have a nice char but are not completely cooked. Remove from the grill and cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Heat the remaining olive oil to medium, add the garlic and shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are just pink but not completely cooked.

3. Add the stock and thyme, a couple of grinds of black pepper, bring to a simmer, and add the couscous. Stir, turn off the heat and leave covered for 2-3 minutes.

4. Stir in the eggplant, peppers and juice from the other half of the lemon, as well as the green onion, and cover for an additional 2-3 minutes.

5. Spoon into a bowl, top with toasted slivered almonds, serve and enjoy!



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37 comments:

Joanne said...

Excellent guest post! I am definitely going to be checking out Nora's blog. This salad looks amazing...it has all of my favorite ingredients as well!

3 hungry tummies said...

Great dish! Off to Nora now! :)

Sophie said...

A lovely & fab guest post!! I am going to check out her blog!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Sandi said...

this looks really great!!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Love New York, and love elegant recipes like this that are a celebration for one! (Or, two if you double).

A Year on the Grill said...

A wonderful guest post and very island friendly for me... All the ingredients are easy to find here... you will be seeing this.

Heading over to take a look at your friends site now

Kim said...

Great guest post! This looks like a wonderful, healthy, & delicious meal:D

Bo said...

I love meal ideas for just one person...because so often when I'm the only one at the house to eat dinner just becomes a ham and cheese sandwich.

Astra Libris said...

I so enjoyed this guest post! So many of my favorite ingredients in one dish, too! :-) I'm printing out the recipe to fix very, very soon - thank you!! :-)

Jana said...

Looks fabulous! Can't wait to try it!

buffalodick said...

If it's a food item, NYC has it!

Luciana said...

Hello this recipe is very inviting...congratulations!!!...a kiss, Luciana

The Cookbook Apprentice said...

Oh this looks just fabulous! Filing away to make for my shrimp and couscous loving family!

I grew up in NY and do miss having the ability to walk outside my door and sample the world. Can't do that where I live now. I'm on my way over to visit your blog too!

teresa said...

fantastic guest post, adn a fantastic dish! glad to get to meet you!

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

Looks amazing! When I need to pump myself up to cook, I always try to go to the basics, too:)

Peter M said...

I love this dish and the only thing I would change is smaller pieces of veggies, otherwise it's just fab.

Katy ~ said...

Oh my does this look GOOD!! Serves one? Make mine a double!!

Bridgett said...

What an elegant and delicious looking meal. I love all the veggies.

Barbara said...

Lovely dish, Nora! Doubt you really lost your kitchen mojo, it just got lost in the shuffle for a bit. Happens to all of us!

Claudia said...

Grand guest post. Love shrimp, eggplant, couscous... perfect pairings.

Faith said...

Wonderful guest post! This dish is healthy and beautiful, and I bet it tastes fresh and delicious!

figtree said...

Couscous and shrinp? YUM Velva thank you for you sweet comment, I have missed posting! We are thinking about moving so Ive been busy organizing closets and getting rid of junk. I made a delicious fish dish the other night that I hope to post this week! ;)

Mimi said...

Great guest post. Thanks Velva for introduing another great blog.
Mimi

Taste of Beirut said...

Couscous is so versatile and light and lends itself to all sorts of combinations! Love the shrimp and pepper combo, very light, very refreshing

bonnie said...

great recipe...so many flavors!!

sweetlife

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

We all have those moments, don't we. Sometimes I wonder if I know anything. Love couscous, too. I'll have to pick some up when I go to the city.

Erica said...

I love couscous and shrimp!That looks wonderful, Velva!

Lea Ann said...

This looks like a great recipe. Another one bookmarked! Thanks

Karen said...

What a quick and flavorful meal! I'm thinking this would be good substituting pasta for the couscous, too!

Kathleen said...

Yum! Thanks for a great guest post. I can't wait to check out your blog!

Pierce said...

Delicious! Your photos are always so nice.

Chris said...

Only two problems. One, I can't get good shrimp here and two, I don't like eggplant:)

Other than one or two substitutions will make it perfect for me!

Chef E said...

I am all about this good dish of ingredients. We have couscous often, and roasted red pepper eggplant dish I made the other day!

Looks good Velva! What wine did you open with this?

5 Star Foodie said...

Delicious couscous with veggies and shrimp!

love lives in the kitchen said...

kuskus and shrimps! what's better than such a lovelyy combination?
have a sweet day,
justyna

Laura in Paris said...

Have to try it to tell you what I think!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love this - simple yet spectacular. Thanks Nora!

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