Friday, 2 March 2012

Dinner Pepperations

Peperoni a Vapore con Couscous Mediterrano
Steamed Peppers with Mediterranean Couscous

Quick, easy, delicious, colorful, impressive, fun... too much to ask? Nah! 'course not... especially if you ask me nicely! Ok- here we go...

What to do when it is Friday evening and you are all out of your good stuff as you are waiting it out until the weekend and the market hall? You improvise- that's what! Make the most of what you've got, use a little imagination and enjoy the challenge!

I had a little chopped bacon left over, some herbs and a couple of pointed peppers... olives are always there (hey- I'm Sicilian!) and another staple- couscous. That's almost enough for a little banquet I'd say!

So here we go: chop some parsley, oregano and mint finely and mix them in with the couscous. Pour just enough boiling water over to cover- not enough to actually cook it, but enough to be able to form a "paste" of sorts. Add the juice of 1 lime- you can also grate a little of the zest into there before you get squeezing to give it a stronger flavor... and then grab your frying pan for the next step...

Fry the finely chopped bacon in a dry, non-stick pan, with a little crushed garlic and some finely sliced Spring onion. Once the bacon begins to brown nicely, add this to the couscous and season with salt, pepper, a little cayenne and a little olive oil. Now add some diced Calamata olives, stir well and fill the halved peppers loosely. Don't overfill them, as the couscous will fluff-up and expand when we steam the peppers of course.

I used one of those little folding gizmo's, a metal steam rack, to make my peppers, but you can use a bamboo steamer or some other steaming device if you prefer. The only important thing is that the peppers do not sit directly in water- otherwise they will simply boil and the couscous will end up getting waterlogged and soggy.

Steam for 10-15 minutes until the peppers are good- a bit of trial and error will be involved here, as it depends on the size of the peppers, the method of steaming etc and there will be slight variations. But 10-15 minutes should be long enough and the result should be pretty delicious! At least I know that mine was! I hope you enjoy yours!

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