Shrimp + Couscous / Palmiers

Thursday, October 01, 2009

[what it's "supposed" to look like, i guess?]

In over three years of marriage, this week marks the FIRST TIME I've ever planned a week's menu. [Better late than never!] We did our grocery shopping on Sunday, and armed with my list of ingredients, I was prepared.

Of course, it's not a meal chez Jerkins without at least one missing ingredient. Instead of pleading with my dear husband to "run to the store," I went zany and just improvised. Last night, a single onion was the missing link. Whoops [could kinda be a recipe deal-breaker, no?]. Improvisation has become my friend.

Preface: This past weekend, I was inspired (thanks Jess) to organize my complete mess of a recipe binder, which contained all of the recipes I've printed off the internet or written down over the past several years. I got a package of those clear-sheet cover thingys with the holes punched, a set of dividers, and a white 1" binder and got to work. I weeded out recipes that weren't good, and made notes on the ones that are. I taped torn-out recipes from magazines to full sheets of notebook paper and then slid every single recipe, scrap or full-page, into a clear plastic cover sheet. The homogenous recipe sheets were then organized by category in that magic white binder.

Part of this ritual was choosing meals for this week, like Jesse does, and sliding them into the front cover until it's time to go shopping. One of the meals I chose was torn out of a Real Simple magazine (not sure when), but I found it online, here. SUPER EASY!

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Olives:

1 10-ounce box couscous (1 1/3 c) [used Target brand whole-wheat]
1 tablespoon olive oil [increased to maybe around 2T?, see reason below]
1 small onion, chopped (see improv steps below)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup pitted green olives
1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc) [didn't have this much, maybe 1/4 cup]
kosher salt and pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Cook the couscous according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, olives, wine, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the shrimp, cover, and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the couscous.

Here're my crappy phone picture:

Improv from the original recipe:

1. As mentioned, I didn't have an onion, but I found a package of onion soup mix in the pantry. I cooked that with the olive oil in the first step, instead of the onion.

2. Jonathan and I don't really care for olives. So this version was sans olives.

3. Also, I had barely any white cooking wine (like probably less than 1/4 cup), so I increased the olive oil in the first step.

...for our fancy side:

Baked Doritos! Jonny's fave!

For dessert, the trusty Ina Garten recipe for Palmiers (J's momma shared with me):

I won't go into the whole thing here, but these are super-fun to make and very tasty. I love the kosher salt taste that comes out when mixed with the sugar. The main challenge with these puppies is flipping them mid-bake. So delicious with decaf.

And of course, guess who was watching from his favorite top-o-the-china-cabinet perch?


  1. I'm very proud of your menu planning. You could have come to get an onion from me! I had a whole bag. One day we will live next door to each other and it will be perfect for times like that.. :)

    right Jonny?

  2. Those cookies were delish!
    Thanks for the shout-out, too. :)


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