Some days, I feel like I’ll never be able to put a meal together on my own.
Most of the time, I am working from some recipe, even if I make little tweaks based on what I have or what I want at the time.
There aren’t many times when I have nothing in front of me, and I just cook. I guess I’m still just a little scared to just make something up as I go.
What if we hate it?
What will we eat if it’s inedible?
Am I sure these flavors go together?
Tonight’s dinner was put together as I was moving around the kitchen in my own little world, and it actually turned out well.
Maybe I am a cook after all.
Chef, no. But cook? That sounds pretty good to this girl who didn’t cook at all 5 years ago.
I had some shrimp and a can of artichokes in brine, and I knew I wanted to work with those.
Before I knew it, onion, lemon, garlic, white Black Box wine, parsley and olive oil were on the counter.
I cooked a cup of Israeli couscous to have as a base – have you ever had Israeli couscous? We love it – it’s so puffy and doughy compared to the smaller, grainy couscous.
Shrimp and Couscous with Artichokes and Lemon
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 can artichokes in brine, drained
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup dry couscous
- 2 cups water
- Bring water to a boil in saucepan and add couscous. Let simmer 5-10 minutes, fluff with a fork, and let sit covered until ready to eat.
- While couscous is cooking, heat pan over medium heat and add a bit of oil.
- Add in onion and garlic and let soften.
- Stir in artichokes to heat through.
- Stir in wine and let cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add in shrimp and cook until they are just pink and starting to curl.
- Stir in lemon zest, juice, and parsley.
- Spoon over couscous.
I also used Panko for the very first time tonight – what a great texture! They’re almost like teeny tiny potato chips. Thin and crispy, they made a great stuffing for some roma tomatoes I needed to use.
I cut 2 roma tomatoes in half, scooped out the membranes/seeds and mixed the seeds with some panko, 1 tsp olive oil, parsley, garlic, and basil.
Then I just stuffed the mixture in the tomato halves and baked at 400 for about 10-15 minutes while the couscous and shrimp cooked.
I can’t wait to use the leftover shrimp + artichokes in a meal tomorrow night. I already have an idea for them, which is rare.
Something has gotten into me today with cooking, and I’m not sure what it is…but I like it.
Maybe I’ve finally found the cook within?
Maybe all those years of just making boxed mac’n’cheese, no bake cookies, and grilled cheese sandwiches are finally adding up to something.
Believe me…if I can cook, anyone can. I’m living proof of that, some days.
Of course, you didn’t get to see my first try at a layer cake :) That was pre-blog, and that’s probably good because it was not pretty. We still ate it, but it was crooked and wouldn’t stay together.
Maybe I’ll even try another layer cake soon.
Have you always cooked or been in the kitchen? Or is cooking and creating meals new to you?