Thursday, July 24, 2008

Real Simple, Real Delicious

I get a lot of cooking magazines...a lot. My husband would say perhaps a few too many. There is no way I will ever make all the recipes that I read about each month. But, reading recipes is entertainment for me. (And, almost all of my subscriptions have been gifts...can't beat that). The only non-cooking magazine I receive is Real Simple, also a gift from a good friend. Of course, it has recipes in it, and that's the first thing I read when a new one arrives in my mailbox. This past week I was flipping through April's issue and checking out the "Five Easy Meals" that's a regular feature. They had a recipe for "Spiced Mini-Burgers and Couscous Salad." It didn't require many ingredients, and I already had a few of them (cucumber, green onions, feta cheese) that I was looking for a way to use before they went bad. So, I thought I would give it a try.
It tasted great, but more importantly, it was SUPER easy and fast. I love that, especially now when our evenings have been packed full with campaigning and baseball games. (It was also a great opportunity to introduce our foster son to couscous. Surprisingly, he did pretty well with it. It helped that it was chock-full of tomatoes and cucumbers, which he loves.)

Here's the recipe as written. (One note: I have some Pampered Chef Greek Seasoning, so we used that on the burgers instead of the cumin and oregano, and we probably could have used more than what we did.)

1 10-oz box couscous
1 lb. ground beef
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 TB dried oregano
4 TB extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 cucumber, sliced into half-moons
3 TB fresh lemon juice
Feta cheese, optional

Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups hot tap water over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Form the beef into 12 small 1/2-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, `1/4 tsp. pepper, the cumin, and oregano.
Heat 1 TB of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook to desired doneness.
Combine the couscous, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, 1 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and the remaining oil in a large bowl.

We added the feta cheese to our individual portions, and it was a great addition, just not perhaps as child-friendly. Also, while this says it makes four servings, we probably had close to 8 servings of salad.


Correnta said...

yummy - we'll have to try this.

Kristen said...

We do have a lot in common! I love Real Simple magazine. I also love Cooking Light and Simple & Delicious. If you haven't tried those ones out, you should :)