Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Sweet 'n' Sour 'n' Sassy!

Verdure Miste & Scampi alla Griglia, In Agrodolce, alla Siciliana
Sweet'n'Sour Sicilian Grilled Vegetables & Shrimp with Couscous

To think that this delicious dish evolved out of a simple Sicilian side-dish is pretty amazing- at the same time it is also absolutely true! What I was originally planning on making, was sweet and sour carrots and zucchini, which is a classic, if rather rudimentary dish of 2 simple vegetables accented and elevated taste-wise with vinegar, raisins, oregano and garlic. Like I said- simple but pretty fantastic!

The only thing was that being a side-dish only... it was not going to work this evening as I had nothing to serve it up next to! So I upped the stakes and turned it into a meal in itself by adding just a few more ingredients... and what a meal it turned out to be! Mamma mia!

I started off by preparing the couscous- simply by seasoning with salt and pepper, a little olive oil, a little lemon juice and enough boiling water to cover it. Stirred one time and left to rest, that was all that needed to be done- in 10 minutes time it would be fluffy, finished and nice and cool for serving up and enjoying!

Whilst that was happening, I sliced up a small zucchini, a carrot, a yellow mini-bell pepper, and a small carrot. I began by putting the zucchini, onion and sliced pepper into a bowl, adding a little olive oil and tossing everything in there until they were lightly coated. I then made sure my grill pan was nice and hot and laid the vegetables out to sizzle away... don't touch! Or if you do touch at all- just press the vegetables down firmly- but don't move them around if you want to get those nice grill marks on there- and you know you do!

Whilst the zucchini, onion and pepper were frying, pre-boiled the carrot slices for 2-3 minutes to get them a little softer and better prepared for the grill so that they would cook better! As soon as the first batch of vegetables was ready, I added the carrots and shrimp and gave them a good blast of heat too... and of course waited patiently as I wanted some nice scorch-marks on them too!

Once the vegetables were all done, I deglazed the pan with the full juice of a lime and a little splash of water. Whilst everything was bubbling up, I added some dried oregano, a handful of raisins and a light drizzle of honey, then turned off the heat and let it sit and mature in aroma.

I served it up with the couscous, a little extra lime juice, a touch of oil and a handful of cherry tomatoes to bring in more freshness to the affair. The finishing touch was a good handful of freshly plucked thyme leaves and a sprinkle of capers... and dinner was served! And hopefully it soon will be for you too!

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