We're having a lovely March with the snowbirds still roosting here in Florida. Our meals, as a result, have tended to be a little more Midwestern than usual with regular servings of meat and potatoes. One of the flock, my mom, is famous in our family for her delicate palate, which has also taken my seasoning down a notch. (By "delicate" I mean "unable to tolerate a single fleck of pepper".)
While planning a recent meal I asked Mom if she minded if I served some couscous that was taking up my valuable shelf space. I was surprised when she hesitated. Thinking that she might not be familiar with it, I explained that couscous was a pasta that resembled a small grain. No, that wasn't the problem. It was just that Mom found couscous to be a little bland.
After I stopped laughing, I told her that I would absolutely be able to make it flavorful without making it spicy. She said, "You can do that?" Once my second set of giggles had subsided, I assured Mom that I had quite a bit of practice doing exactly that.
The skewers were an outright hit, and the couscous, um, satisfactory to them. Next thing you know I'll have the snowbirds eating quinoa! This recipe is easily adaptable to the seasonal vegetables of your choice and the meatballs can be omitted if you are not of the omni persuasion.
Turkey Sausage Meatball & Marinated Veggie Kebabs with Couscous
(Click here for printable recipe.)
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
2 medium zucchini, in half rounds
1 red bell pepper, in 1 inch squares
12-15 pearl onions, peeled
4 oz mushrooms, halved
1 lb ground turkey sausage
1 C fresh bread crumbs
2 Tbs ground flax
10-12 wooden or metal skewers
If using wooden skewers, soak in warm water at least 30 minutes before using.
Combine marinade ingredients. Clean and chop vegetables. Mix with marinade and set aside. (Note: vegetables may be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.)
Place oven rack in the second position from the top. Turn on broiler to preheat.
Combine bread crumbs and ground flax, then stir into turkey sausage until mixture is smooth without any lumps. Using wet hands, roll into small meatballs no more than one inch in diameter.
Gently slide alternating kinds of vegetables and meatballs onto skewers until all are used. Arrange in a large broiler pan with none overlapping. Place under broiler for twenty minutes, turning skewers over and rotating pan halfway through cooking time.
Check to make sure meatballs are cooked all the way through and serve with couscous, recipe below.
2 Tbs olive oil
2 C Israeli (large) couscous
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 1/2 C chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 Tbs dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using commercial stock)
Heat oil over medium in a heavy bottomed pot. Add couscous and garlic and stir to coat with oil. Cook while constantly stirring until couscous is lightly browned. Add chicken stock and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.