I’m back. Well, I’ve been back since Thursday night.
I’m currently craving cheap espresso, fresh seafood, all things ham, and vermouth. I could absolutely go back to Portugal or Spain. I loved them both.
Since I’m clearly on a seafood kick, let’s eat some sardine and white bean stew. I’m always amazed by couscous whenever I actually decide to buy some. I eat it so infrequently, and you hardly ever see it in restaurants, that I forget how quickly it cooks. I don’t think I’ve ever screwed up a batch either. Is it possible to over/undercook it? I don’t think I have ever done it, not that I’ve tried.
Well, it’s a good base for pouring this sardine stew over the top of it. It’s not a heavy stew, and is totally brightened up by the fennel and white beans. The sardines are broken down within, so you only get hints of salty flesh here and there. It’s not overbearing in the slightest.
Inspiration: A Thought for Food
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 small fennel bulb, think sliced
- 15oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
- 14oz can white beans, drained
- 4oz sardines packed in oil, drained
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons, chopped parsley
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Cook the bread crumbs for a few minutes until it’s golden brown and smelling toasty. Set aside.
Add another two tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet, and lower the heat to medium. Add the garlic, carrots, fennel, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Add the tomatoes, beans, and sardines with a pinch or two of a red pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to breakdown the sardines into the vegetable mixture. It will thicken as it cooks. Taste for additional salt.
While the vegetables cook, bring a pot with the cup of water, oil, and salt to a boil. Add the couscous, turn off the heat, and cover. Allow it to cook for three minutes, absorbing the water. Fluff with a fork when it’s done.
Layer the stew over the couscous and top with the parsley and breadcrumbs before serving.