Why Not Couscous?

couscousOn our recent trip to Dubai, we ate in a Tex-Mex restaurant [yes we were surprised they had one!]. On the menu we noticed that several dishes were accompanied by beans and couscous rather than beans and rice. We made faces at the idea, passing those dishes by. [I blame the Mojitos.] Later on the return flight home, I started thinking, “Why not couscous?” So, here’s what I came up with:

1 10 oz. box couscous (1½ c.)
2 c. chicken stock
3 T. butter
½ large bell pepper (green/red/both), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, sliced tops and all
1 pickled jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 t. comino, ground in molcajete
2 t. chili powder
1 t. oregano
2 Knorr cilantro seasoning mini cubes* or 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime (2 T.)
1 c. canned corn, drained

In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock and 1 T. butter just to a boil. Stir in the couscous and cover. Remove from heat and set aside.

In large skillet, sauté peppers, garlic and scallions in remaining butter until soft. Add in jalapeño and spices, mixing well. Stir in lime juice. Remove from heat. Fluff the couscous with a fork and add to the skillet, mixing well. Stir in corn. Cover and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend together.

*If using the Knorr cubes, do not add salt.

Coliflor

ColiflorServes 5-6
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
5 scallions, sliced (including tops)
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 t. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 c. oil
Juice of 2 limes
2 T. water
2 t. sugar

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, mix well, and let marinate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread mixture on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until tender, 25-30 minutes.

Avocados with Crab Stuffing

Avocado with crabServes 4
2 avocados
Crab stuffing:
½ lb. crab meat
½ c. mayonnaise
1 T. lime juice
1 chopped jalapeño
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. chopped chives
1 T. minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut avocados in half and peel. Sprinkle lime juice on cut edges so they don’t turn brown.

Remove any shell or cartilage from crab; combine all stuffing ingredients and mix well. Fill avocado halves with stuffing and serve chilled.

Cabrito

Baked Cabrito

Baked Cabrito

Baked Cabrito

Serves 8-10
1 (10-12 lb.) baby goat/kid, split in half or quartered
3-4 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste
Oregano to taste
Thyme and parsley if desired
2 thick slices onion
1 small carrot, cut in half
1 stalk celery, cut in half
½ c. water

Wash meat in cold water and pat dry. Place in roaster. Break garlic cloves in half and rub meat well with garlic and lime juice. Mix salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and parsley (I used 1 T. each of the dried green herbs) and rub mixture into meat. Add onion, carrot, celery and water to pan. Cover and place in pre-heated 375-degree oven. Cook 3½-4 hours. Remove cover, drain off all juices except ½ cup. Return to oven to brown about 20 minutes.

Baked Cabrito II

Serves 2
2½-3 lb. leg of baby goat/kid
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash meat in cold water and pat dry. Rub well with salt and pepper. Bake in covered roasting pan for 2-2½ hours in 325-degree oven.

Barbecued Cabrito

Serves 8-10
1 (10 lb.) baby goat/kid
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Wash meat in cold water and pat dry. Rub well with spices. Cook in covered barbecue grill* over mesquite wood or charcoal for 4-5 hours until tender.

*In Mexico and South Texas, Cabrito is traditionally cooked over mesquite wood in an open barbecue pit. A rod is run through the body cavity from neck to tail and the opposite end of the rod is then stuck upright in the pit.

Cabrito also makes excellent tacos, with the salsa of your choice (I prefer Salsa Verde).

Avocados with Garlic Salsa

Avocados with garlic salsaServes 6
3 avocados
Lime juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 T. crumbled bleu cheese
½ c. olive or vegetable oil
2 T. wine vinegar

Cut avocados in half and peel. Sprinkle lime juice on cut edges so they don’t turn brown. Combine remaining ingredients and chill. Spoon into chilled avocado halves or over sliced avocados.

Ceviche

IMG_3748Ceviche
Makes 1 quart
1 lb. cubed raw white meat fish filets
1 large onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, chopped (seeds removed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ t. salt
Lime juice

Combine fish, onion, jalapeño and garlic in bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Add lime juice to cover. Stir every 15 minutes for an hour. Chill 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve chilled.

Guacamole

Guacamole                Yield: approximately 2½ cups
2 large or 3 medium avocados
Juice of 2 lemons
½ medium onion, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste

Scoop avocado out of peel, discard pit, and mash with fork (or in molcajete), sprinkling with lemon juice as you go to prevent avocado from turning brown. Stir in onion, tomato, salt and pepper and mix well. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce and garnish with very thin slices of onion and tomato or sprigs of cilantro. Serve with tostados or tortilla chips. Traditionally, guacamole is served in the molcajete, without garnishes.

Guacamole II

                                                                                        Yield: approximately 1½ cups
1 large or 2 medium avocados
Juice of 1 lime
½ small onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Scoop avocado out of peel, discard pit, and cut into cubes. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree. Serve with tostados or tortilla chips.

Calabacitas Rellenas

IMG_2968                                                                                                                      Serves 2-4
3 medium zucchini or yellow squash
¾-1 c. whole kernel corn (canned or frozen)
Juice of 1 lime
3 T. butter or margarine
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
¾ t. chili powder
Salt to taste
Grated cheese (longhorn, cheddar or colby)

Wash squash; slice lengthwise and hollow out middle. Drain on paper towels with insides down for 15 minutes. Put squash in buttered baking dish and stuff with corn. Sprinkle with lime juice and dot with butter. Add jalapeño, chili powder and salt.IMG_2966

Place in 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with grated cheese and return to oven for 20 minutes more.