Ever get sick of leftovers? Yeah, me too. But I’ve learned time and time again that if you take leftovers and make them into something new, they are far more palatable. Sometimes, they’re actually better than the original recipe. So it went last week when I made up a new recipe to use up leftover couscous.
It started like this.
Me: Scanning the fridge wondering what we ought to eat.
[Side bar: Last week was a hectic week. I had a new training module to put together, had to turn in the second chapter of my new book and the kids were on spring break from Wednesday to Friday. I was not at my best when it came to menu planning. Never mind that I KNOW those are the weeks it’s MOST important to menu plan…I was still left scrounging around at 5 o’clock trying to figure out what to make.]
So for those of you who think I have it all together and crank out gourmet meals all the time…let me tell you a little something about how my dinner prep often goes.
Me: [thinking while scanning the fridge] Ok…so there are three big pork chops…those can go on the grill. I think I’ve still got a head of romaine in here somewhere, oh look…those last few cherry tomatoes are still reasonably edible…those can go in a salad with…oh yay! a couple of olives…and there’s still half a cucumber in the crisper. Ok…pork chops and greek salad it is! Now we need a side…mac n cheese? Ugh…no…bake some potatoes? Crap, no…Mr W has an irrational dislike of potoatoes…rice? Drat, I’m out of rice….oh wait…there’s couscous…I just bought a ton of organic cous cous…oh wait…we had couscous three days ago…in fact…[shuffle, shuffle] oh yes, here’s a container of leftover couscous…maybe if I put some balsamic vinegar in it this time? Nah…it’s still a little bland, man I wish I’d bought the box that has the olive oil and garlic version of couscous, why can’t I get mine to taste like the boxed stuff…mine just tastes like…couscous…I don’t want to eat warmed up couscous…there had to be a way to make it taste better…oh wait…eggs…feta….I wonder….[dig, dig] oh yeah, there two green onions in here….I wonder if you can make couscous patties…]
Me: “Hey baby? You up for a little dinner experiment tonight?”
Mr W: “Of course…I love it when you experiment for dinner…when does that ever go wrong?”
Me: “Yeah…I’m still new here…you weren’t around for the dirt soup incident…”
Mr W: “Huh?”
Me: “Nothing. Can you go warm up the grill?”
Mr W: “Sure!”
So it went. Mr W headed off to the grill with some super thick pork loin chops from the freezer (We buy these in monster packs from Sam’s and then freeze them in dinner size bags) and some seasoning. I threw together a quick greek salad and then pulled out a bowl and got to mixing.
First, I poured in my leftover couscous…about two cups worth. Then I splashed in some balsamic vinegar to moisten it up. Next I cracked an egg into it and dumped about 2 oz of crumbled feta cheese in. Then I diced up two green onion stalks as finely as possible and dumped that in too. Then I added two cloves of minced up garlic and stirred everything together. It smelled good, but it was still a bit dry. Threw in one more egg and mixed it up again and sure enough, I could gently form patties with it.
So I made patties about the size of the palm of my hand and started frying them up on the stove in some olive oil over medium high heat, crossing my fingers. They smelled marvelous, but you never know if the smell is going to match the taste (case in point: coffee.)
When they were done, I stacked two over my salad and drizzled them with Gia Russa balsamic glaze.
[Sidebar: If you like balsamic vinegar, you absolutely must get yourself to a grocery store and find some Gia Russa Balsamic glaze. This stuff is like italian crack. Sweet, flavorful, fat free and VERY low calorie count. It’s basically a reduction of balsamic vinegar that has the consistency of honey. If I could only have one thing to pair with fresh vegetables for the rest of my life, it would be Gia Russa Balsamic Glaze. And no, they don’t pay me, but if they’d like to send me a life time supply, I certainly wouldn’t complain!]
Absolutely marvelous! As in, I’d make couscous a day ahead just to be able to make these from the leftovers. We all loved them. If you’re fan of couscous (or even if you’re not) give them a try!
Couscous Patties with Green Onions and Feta
- 2 cups prepared couscous – cold
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Glaze
Mix couscous, eggs, cheese, vinegar, onion and garlic in a bowl. Form into patties. (They will be loose and a bit crumbly, handle gently.) Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and brown patties for 2-3 minutes per side, until heated through. Serve drizzled with balsamic glaze.