Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ovenless but not downtrodden...

The gods may have seen fit to take away my baking powers for awhile, but they won't stop me from making both savory and sweet items on the stove top (she says, shaking an angry fist heavenward)! And I have two good ones to share...

I was reading my pal, Randi's blog the other day, and she made a lovely tabouleh salad for a community event. And that reminded me that I also made a tasty sort of Italian-style tabouleh recently from the couscous that I procured from my beloved Trader Joe's. Yes, yes, Italian and tabouleh (which is a traditional middle eastern salad) may be mixing cultures inappropriately, but I assure you that the end result was scrumptious and well worth trying. Plus, it's really quick and easy, and fairly healthful to boot (which is not usually my way)! Here's the recipe:

Italian-Style Tabouleh Salad

1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/4 cup dry couscous
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tomato, small dice
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 roasted red peppers, chopped (you could swap out chopped green peppers here)
½-1 cup black olives, sliced

1/2 cup freshly-shredded parmesan
2 (or more!) tablespoons persillade (or use a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley and a couple/few cloves of minced garlic instead--I just had persillade on hand so I used it)
salt and pepper to taste

Other possible additions: diced cucumbers and/or garbanzo beans

Stir the boiling water, olive oil and lemon juice into the couscous, cover and let sit five minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add the tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives, persillade (or parsley and garlic), and salt and pepper. Blend ingredients thoroughly, then serve at room temperature, or refrigerate to chill if you prefer (which I do prefer…also to give the flavors a chance to marry).

Just because the oven is on the fritz doesn't mean that we can't have dessert! Here is one of my favorite no-bake treats, riffing on Rice Krispie treats, but this one is made with Golden Grahams cereal and mini-chocolate chips, producing something akin to that campfire favorite, S'mores. This recipe also falls into the "quick and easy" category, and everyone will just gobble them up--which is a good thing, because the cereal loses its crunch after a day or two.

S’more Treats

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons margarine (I am generally anti-margarine, but using all butter makes for great flavor but can make the resulting bars too hard)
1 bag marshmallows (10 oz.?)
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 cups Golden Grahams-type cereal
½- 1 cup mini-chocolate chips

In a very large saucepan or small stockpot over low heat, melt the butter and margarine together. Then add the marshmallows, and cook until completely melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, then quickly add the cereal. Stir gently but thoroughly to coat all of the cereal with the marshmallow mixture. Spray an oblong baking dish and your hands with pan spray. Press the cereal into the dish evenly. Sprinkle the top with ¼ - ½ cup of mini-chocolate chips and lightly press the chips down into the bars. Flip the whole thing over and repeat the remaining chips. Let cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.


Anonymous said...

toaster oven sweetie, toaster oven. I have made scones, tarts, galettes, pies and cakes in ours just to name a few. It is a cheap way to hold you over until the Thermador arrives.

Randi said...

I agree with the toasteroven idea. There are some new ones now that have the convection feature. Next time you're at TJ's check out the farro pilaf mix. It makes a great cold salad too.