Finding a new use for old ingredients.

Couscous cakesThe title of this entry is obviously a favourite of mine. There is just something so thrilling about having the ability of taking something old dish and making it into something even more amazing than the last. Case in point: leftover couscous from my asparagus and double couscous salad. Having not made a ton of couscous in my life, little did I know that a little goes a long way. Since I didn’t want my salad to be overly carby, I decided to save half of the couscous for a later use. Days go by and it’s still sitting there. What do I do with that? I pull a Giada de Laurentiis and make her recipe for couscous cakes.

Now, I love me a little Giada. I grew up watching her show on the Food Network. Pretty face, pretty boobs, oh, and pretty cooking too. It was ordinary but it was simple, comforting and right now my alley. I don’t remember seeing her make these cakes on the show but hey, what else was I going to do with all this couscous?!!?

Couscous, some fresh herbs, egg and lemon. It could make a good appetizer or accompaniment to a main. I also added a little Parmesan cheese because, well, everything is better with cheese. To be honest, the recipe was a bit bland for my liking so adding the cheese was necessary, either that or be liberal with the seasoning.
Couscous cakes Couscous cakes Couscous cakes Couscous cakesCouscous cakes (adapted from Food Network)

What you’ll need:
– 3 1/2 cups couscous, cooked
– 1 egg
– 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
– 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
– Zest of 1 lemon
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– Salt and pepper, to taste
– Dried red chili flakes (optional)
– 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil

What you’ll need to do:
1. Mix all of the ingredients together until they are well incorporated. It should stick together when you roll a small ball in between your index finger and thumb.
2. Shape the mixture into palm-sized patties and drop into an oil-greased pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until crispy. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and top with pesto.

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