Saturday, August 25, 2007


When my sister and I where kids, we loved to tell people a joke that we called ‘the green world’, we thought it was the funniest thing ever! The whole point of the joke was to describe – well - a green world. The story could easily extend to over an hour and it was a favorite on long drives, like returning home from a weekend at the beach. In this 'story-joke' every possible word was preceded by ‘green’.

The joke would go sort of like this: ‘In a green world, there was a green town, and in the green town there lived a green boy. The green boy’s green mother told the green boy not to go out and green play that green afternoon” – insert every possible twist and turn here, while describing the green landscape, green flowers, green friends, green etc. – after the longest minutes of my parents lives, I’m sure, we got to the climax of the story where the green kid gets hurt, and an ambulance from the ‘green cross’ would come to take him to the green hospital (this was our favorite part, we felt so clever). Once the green kid got to the hospital they would wheel him into an operating room (green of course, but those are actually like that), and the green doctor would come out with terrible news for the green mother… “Mrs. Green, your green child…. (wait for it… ) has…. RED blood.” And we would burst out laughing every single time.

Today’s recipe is a little bit like that, it’s a couscous that is mostly green with a touch of red. You can embellish this couscous dish with any number of green ingredients you like. It comes with a really tasty chicken, that we topped with avocado (this is optional, but we have been taking advantage of the fact they are in season) – yes, the avocado was green – The recipe goes like this (my recipes are for two generous portions – well, more like one normal portion and one large portion).


Green Couscous

1 cup of dry medium couscous
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 juice of one lime or lemon (I prefer lime)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon of chili pepper
½ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley or cilantro (I prefer cilantro), you could use mint too.
2 cups finely diced cucumber.
2 tablespoons of finely diced red bell pepper

In a small pot heat the water with a teaspoon of salt. When it boils add the couscous. Cover and set aside.

In a large plate make a ‘dressing’ with the lime, the olive oil, cumin, chili pepper (or black pepper, red gives it a nice kick), salt and cilantro. Add the cucumber and the bell pepper.

Prepare the chicken, and right before it is time to serve, add the couscous to the dressing and mix carefully with a wooden spoon. Adjust the salt, and it is ready to go, you can also add more olive oil at this point.

Honey Glazed Chicken

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 minced garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of honey
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Make a quick marinade, mixing together the mustard, honey, garlic and cumin. Coat the chicken with this mixture and let it absorb the flavors for 10 to 15 minutes (you can marinate it for a lot longer if you have the time).

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until very hot, place the chicken in the pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (I find this is the easiest way to make sure your seasoning is right). Don’t move it, when you fist put chicken in the pan it STICKS to it, after a few minutes the chicken develops a ‘crust’ and then you can move it easily. This is when you turn them, wait until they have a nice caramel color (thank the honey for that). If your chicken breast are on the fat side you might want to add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover for a couple of minutes to make sure they are cooked through, if not, they are ready when the other side had caramelized as well.

Serve over green couscous, and enjoy you green dinner.

* this is the order in which I cooked this ‘eat-your-dinner’:

1 . I put the couscous and salt in the boiling water, covered them, and put them aside.
2. I made the marinade and put the chicken in, and put it aside.
3. I uncovered and broke up the couscous, and placed them on my windowsill to cool.
4. Got my couscous marinate ready.
5. Heated the pan, and cooked the chicken.
7. Asked husband to place the table.
6. Moved chicken to a plate.
7. Incorporated the couscous into the dressing.
8. Opened the avocado.
9. Added some leftover peanuts (from the famous pad thai, that I haven't written about yet) for crunch.
10. Served dinner.

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