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Monday, February 3, 2014

I've Got Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

Saturday was, by February standards, a lovely day.  It was in the 40's, dry, and almost sunny.  Given how cold and snowy it's been, it practically felt like summer.  Needless to say, the traffic was awful because everyone was so happy to be able to get out of the house without dressing for the polar vortex.  It practically felt like sandal weather.  It's funny how your perspective changes after a couple of weeks during which the temperature haven't risen above freezing.  Temps in the 40's feel positively springlike.

But, heaven forbid we have two nice days in a row.  Sunday was cloudy, rainy, and bone chilling.  Today it's snowing.   Saturday I thought I might actually be able to see the end of winter on the horizon.  Today it feels as though it might last forever.

So imagine my glee when yesterday morning I saw Giada make this sunshiny couscous dish on her Food Network show!  It's light, but substantial enough to be considered dinner.  It features lots of lemon, which makes everything taste a whole lot more cheerful and bright.

As an added bonus, I had all the ingredients on hand.  At least I could just observe the ugly day from my window, instead of feeling it when I went outside.

Recipe:  Pearl Couscous with Chicken and Peas
(Giana De Laurentiis)


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups (about 7 ounces) pearl (Israeli) couscous
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Zest of 2 large lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 rotisserie chicken breast, chopped to yield 1 cup of meat


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until the couscous is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the cheese, green onions, peas and chicken. Spoon into bowls and serve.

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