Variations On Couscous With Harissa Week 2


The harrisa by DEA is similar to tomato paste in a tube. I did not know how I was going to use the harrisa. Putting a spoonful of the paste on cooked couscous did not seem to be a good idea. I searched on the internet and I found a recipe that gave me the knowledge that I wanted. The recipe instructs someone to dissolve the harrisa in vegetable stock. I used a ratio of 1 tablespoon of harrisa to 2 cups of vegetable stock. Couscous is sweet. The flavored stock made the couscous savory and exciting. This ratio did not give a strong flavor of harissa to the couscous. The color of the couscous was reddish after adding the stock.

The flavor created by using 1 tablespoon of harissa is probably acceptable. I will have to make this recipe without harissa to know the flavor of harissa in couscous made with vegetable stock. Even if the flavor is not hot when using harissa, the peppers can make someone uncomfortable and sweat. I also want to try mixing harissa with a small amount of tomato paste.

The variation for this week was impressive. The vegetables survived being in the freezer very well. The mint changed color. Tomatoes do not lose their flavor in the freezer, but they probably become soft because most of the water seeps from the flesh of the tomatoes into the bag. I am excited to add harissa and couscous to my kitchen.

The only difference between this variation and the previous variation is that I used harissa paste rather than harissa sauce. The sauce was added with the vegetables just before the couscous finished cooking. I dissolved 1 tablespoon of harissa paste in 2 cups of vegetable stock. I added the flavored stock at the beginning.

  • Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cups couscous
    • 2 cups vegetable stock
    • 1 tablespoon DEA harissa
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, medium dice
    • 1/2 cup zucchini, small dice
    • 1/2 cup peas
    • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • Instructions
    • Add 1 tablespoon of harissa to 2 cups of vegetable stock
    • Warm the vegetables
    • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan over medium heat
    • Add the couscous and warm the couscous in the butter until the couscous is fragrant, about 1 minute
    • Add the vegetable stock
    • Cook the couscous for 8-10 minutes
    • Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the couscous
    • Add the vegetables, stir, and cook for about 1 minute
    • Remove from the heat
    • Add the mint and stir
    • Serve the couscous

Hot Cocoa And Marshmallows


Chocolate is exciting. I enjoy drinking hot cocoa. I put a marshmallow that I made in this cup of hot cocoa. Most people are familiar with the foods that some people call superfoods. When I have the opportunity, I put superfoods in a blender with fruits or vegetables in my refrigerator. After eating fruits and vegetables everyday for 6 months, everything seems to make me happy. I would blend carrots and bananas to keep my glass full of fruits and vegetables. Chocolate gives me energy and a great attitude. The experience is similar to drinking coffee.

  • Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa
    • Dash salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Instructions
    • Put the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a mug
    • Heat the milk in a microwave or on the stovetop
    • Gradually add the milk to the cocoa mixture
    • Add the vanilla

Follow The Link To Know More About Marshmallows:


Knowing Sauce Is Important


These are some of the things that make good spaghetti sauce. I had the opportunity to save some vegetables. When I make the sauce, I will add tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Making vegetable ragù is easy. People use frozen food everyday: frozen pizzas, frozen peas, frozen vegetables, ice cream, frozen hamburger patties, frozen fish, frozen berries, frozen juice concentrate… I cannot always use an entire bag of celery or carrots in a week. This is a method for eating the very best foods always. Use the moisture that the vegetables release in the bag to add flavor to the stock for the sauce.


Tagliatelle Is Made With Eggs

Eggplant Experiment


The flesh of eggplants is delicate. I believe that the experience of eating eggplants is greatly determined by the texture of the eggplants. A machine can puree the flesh to be too smooth very quickly. If the eggplants are over pureed, the texture will be similar to water. I was disappointed when I over pureed eggplants. A person can puree eggplants by chopping them with a knife. I put a picture in this blog post of an acceptable texture for making dips and spreads. Since I did not have tahini, I did not make baba ghanoush. I was very pleased with my eggplant spread. I wrote some things on eggplants and aubergines a couple of months ago.

  • Ingredients
    • 3 medium sized eggplants
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 pinch garlic powder*
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Instructions
    • Roast the eggplants on a grill, in the oven, or in a pan on a burner
    • Scoop the flesh of the eggplants into a bowl
    • Strain the eggplants
    • Barely puree the eggplant flesh
    • Add the other ingredients
    • Mix the ingredients

* A pinch is ¼ teaspoon divided by 2 which is equal to 1/8 teaspoon. Fill a ¼ teaspoon half full.

1. Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker: The Joy of Cooking (New York: Scribner, 2006), 74-75.

Sweat The Side Dish


Being excited by the warm raw flavor of vegetables that I sweat is a special experience.  When I sweat the pieces of squash over just less than medium heat, they are firm but not crisp. The butternut squash reminds me of pumpkin and the flavor is sweet. Leeks and zucchini give this side dish more texture and flavor. I add the peas during the last minute of cooking. They are soft and filled with fresh sweet flavor.

  • Ingredients
    • 2 cups butternut squash, large dice
    • 1/2 leek, cut lengthwise and chopped
    • 1/2 cup zucchini, medium dice
    • 1/2 cup fresh peas
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Instructions
    • Heat the butter and olive oil on just less than medium heat
    • Sweat the butternut squash for about 10 minutes, until the pieces are firm but not crisp
    • Add the leeks and sweat the vegetables for about 2 minutes
    • Add the zucchini and sweat the vegetables for about 2 minutes
    • Add the peas and sweat the vegetables for about 1 minute
    • Put the vegetables in a bowl and serve

Follow The Link To Read A Blog Post On Sweating:

Cartouche – Parchment Paper Lid

Mexican Beans And Cilantro Lime Rice

Runny pinto beans and rice remind me how much I enjoy the fiesta called life. I have been to places where people glorify Mexican food. Cooking Mexican food is normal in my home. Beans and rice is a main course for a healthy Mexican household. I put vegetables in my beans. I usually add peppers and onions. The onions dissolve. Some of the peppers survive. The final appearance of the beans may include green spots. Adding the seeds of the peppers makes the beans hotter. Adding seeds to something without knowing the consequences in advance can ruin good food. I added the seeds. The flavor of the beans includes some heat. I am pleased with my decision.

There are two possible routes when making beans. The first route is to use less water. Less water makes beans that float in translucent gravy probably made by the onions and starch from the beans. The second route is to use more water. Using more water requires someone to reduce the beans. Reducing the beans makes thick brown gravy. Based on my life experience, choosing more water will make beans similar to beans from an inexpensive Mexican restaurant. Choosing less water will make beans from a more expensive Mexican restaurant. The choice is relative. Today, I chose more water.

The idea for making rice with cilantro and lime came from Cooking with a Wallflower. I cooked the rice using the absorption method. The directions on the bag of rice said to cook the rice for 15 minutes. I use the large burner to cook rice. On my stove, I simmer food on 3, which is between 7 and 8 on the face of a clock. There are some bubbles in the water at this setting. I removed the rice from the burner. I did not remove the lid for 5 minutes. After fluffing the rice with a fork, the rice was sticky and firm but less firm than al dente. The flavors of lime and cilantro are eternal.



Discovering The New Recipe

After 4 Hours On High (I Started With 6 Cups Of Liquid)
Straining The Beans
No Liquid In The Beans
3 Cups Of Liquid (The Beans Absorbed 3 Cups Of Water)
1 Cup Of Liquid
Less Water (With 1 Cup Of Liquid Added) (Approximately What Starting With 4 Cups Of Water Should Make)
More Water (With 3 Cups Of Liquid Added) (Approximately What Starting With 6 Cups Of Water Should Make)
Reduced (About 20 Minutes On High While Constantly Stirring)
Soupy Runny Beans
Pinto Beans
White Rice With Cilantro
The Meal

Mexican Beans

  • Ingredients
    • 1/2 lb/227 grams pinto beans
    • 4 or 6 cups water (prepare to reduce if choosing 6)
    • 1 large yellow onion, small dice
    • 4 serrano peppers (choose to keep or discard the seeds), chopped
    • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Instructions
    • Soak the beans overnight
    • Put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker
    • Stir the ingredients
    • Cook on high for 4 hours
    • Reduce if necessary

Cilantro Lime Rice

 Cilantro Lime Rice

Follow The Links To Download The Recipes:

Mexican Beans

Cilantro Lime Rice

1. “How to Cut Perfect Lemon Wedges in No Time at All with Blue Apron.” YouTube video, 00:46. Posted by “Blue Apron,” August 1, 2013.

Cappuccino Experiment

I had my first cappuccino in an Italian neighborhood in San Francisco. Cappuccino puts me in a tranquil place. Coffee is as stimulating as other great things on Earth. I was excited to make cappuccino this morning. The recipe uses 1 cup of milk. I only used 1/2 cup of milk. I am going to suggest using 1 cup of brewed espresso, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.

Follow The Link To The Recipe:

Cappuccino Recipe Without an Expensive Machine