Winter's past, Spring has gone
You never wrote me, you never called ...
No more yummy creamed potato mash or butternut and celeriac mash laden with cream and butter. It's time to break out some of the more interesting cornmeals and pastas, that change our tradition dishes into something more Mediterranean in feel and a little friendlier to our waistlines.
In preparation for this butterfly's Spring emergence, and as I needed to feed my guest, I rooted around in my ever-so-little Pantry (read Store Cupboard), and a Kilner Jar of couscous seemed to force its way into my hand with little effort; I found my brian briefly wondering off into a daze of creativity. I was brought out of my revere when my lovely friend's child announced that he was 'a little bit tired and a little bit hungry'. I looked across at my friend to ask what she had brought to feed her little one, to which she replied, 'I didn't, you're the cook and he always likes what you produce'.
Clearly I was under a little more pressure now than usual! The pressure to deliver food fit for an 'almost' three year old is a tough burden, I don't get to use the tricks of their mother's who coax food into their mini mouths by tempting them with delightful sweet goals at the end of food-time. I have to go out on a limb and just hope that what I make is what they are in the mood for.
I began to rack my brains on what I was going to deliver - all that I could see beyond the food alarm bells where mini burgers - easy bite sized portions stuffed with cheese. I am aware that most children like cheese but dislike green vegetables. For one brief moment of madness I thought perhaps I could produce some lovely Arancini (rice balls) but then the reality of the speed at which I needed to produce food was suddenly very daunting and very much upon me. And it was at this point that my brain did it's own mini 'flick-flack' as the Eureka moment dawned. Rather than Arancini, I could make Couscous Balls.
My belief that I could deliver Couscous Balls probably was a little short sighted considering the allotted time and that I don't have a deep fat fryer. But as I began putting the elements together, I realised that rather than Couscous Balls, I could make a Couscous Burger ... or perhaps it would be better to call it a Couscous Fritter. I have to own up here, it's not really my invention as after we'd consumed our lunch, I did do a little interweb search and found one recipe.
Interestingly, these Couscous Fritters remained really light to eat and were exceptionally moreish. The melted cheese inside them, along with the crunchy vegetables made a great lunchtime filler for adults and small people alike. The only thing to look out for is that the fritters are quite fragile, as the cheese melts, the little 'burgers' become unstable, so it's best to whip them out the frying pan and onto a plate (under the grill) to keep warm. What I loved about making Couscous Fritters was the speed and that it made what can be a fairly dull pasta, into a much more flavoursome meal.
This recipe is exceptionally easy and a great 'fast food' substitute, as well as super filling and works well for a lunchtime snack/meal. Click through here if you want the recipe.
The good news is that all was consumed by the littlest food critic in Wandsworth.